Dietary intake of primary school children in relation to food production in a rural area in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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The adequacy of food intake of primary school children living in a low socioeconomic rural area, +/- 60 km northwest of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa was assessed in a cross-sectional study. Primary school children, 10 and 11 years old and in grades 5, 6 and 7, and their mothers/caretakers were interviewed. Dietary intake was assessed by a 24-h recall and an unquantified food frequency questionnaire. Local food production was assessed by questionnaire. The diet consumed by the children comprised a limited number of food items. Fruit and vegetable consumption was low, resulting in a poor intake of micronutrients. Despite the local production of some vitamin A rich food crops, the quantity grown and eaten was low. The long-term solutions for combatting micronutrient deficiencies in this rural area include targeted local food production accompanied by a nutrition education programme, to be initiated and monitored by a multi-sectoral team of agriculturists and health scientists.
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