DIETARY INTAKE OF IRON RICH FOOD AND AWARENESS ON IRON DEFICIENCY ANAEMIA AMONG FEMALE STUDENTS IN RAWALPINDI
Objective: To assess the awareness and intake of iron rich diet amongst college girls with a particular focus on the knowledge about the iron deficiency anaemia.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted in Government College for Women Rawalpindi, during September – December 2010. One hundred and thirty five students of intermediate level aged 17-19 years were selected through convenient sampling technique. The sample size was calculated by WHO-sample size calculator, keeping 95% CI, p<0.05 statistically significant, anticipated population proportion of iron deficiency anaemia 35% and absolute precision at 0.08.
Results: The awareness about iron rich diet and iron deficiency anaemia was satisfactory (86%), while poor intake of iron rich diet amongst adolescent college girls (52%) was found. About 65% of the participants had knowledge about the causes of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA); while 72% and 80% knew about the prevention and treatment of IDA respectively.
Conclusions: Results indicate the gap between knowledge and practices about IDA; it highlights the need of an effective health promotional programme to raise awareness about the significance of iron in young female diet and to highlight the consequences when it is absent.