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Nutritional needs assessment of rural agricultural migrants of southern Brazil : Designing, implementing and evaluating a nutrition education program Doell, Alice Mae


included 24-hour food recalls, infant feeding practices, women's food preferences and frequency of food intake. Anthropometry consisted of weight, height, mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC), and triceps skinfold (TSF) thickness measurements in women and children, with additional head circumference measurements in children less than 3 years. Major findings from dietary assessment revealed that adult diets were simplistic, consisting primarily of rice, beans, and coffee (with sugar). Analysis of nutrient intake and comparison with international standards showed that women were probably at high risk for vitamin A, iron, calcium, ascorbic acid, and riboflavin deficiencies; children appeared at high risk for vitamin A, iron, and ascorbic acid deficiencies. Infant feeding practices indicated that all children (under 5 years) had been breast fed at birth, although many were weaned at an early age. Negative nutritional infant feeding practices were reported, especially for conditions such as fever and diarrhoea. Belief in the "hot/cold" food classification system was reported by women. Although food taboos were reported for menstruation, pregnancy, immediately post partum, and lactation, relatively few taboos had potentially negative nutritional consequences. Anthropometric assessment indicated that a significant number of women were probably undernourished; a small percentage of women, however, were overweight or obese. Children did not generally appear undernourished; many, however, were stunted in growth. Summative evaluation of the nutrition education program indicated that for women who participated in the program, nutrition knowledge scores showed improvement and were statistically significant at ∝ =.05, using Wilcoxon signed rank test.

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