Attitude, awareness and recommendations regarding fortified food usage amongst Health Care Professionals of Punjab.

Authors

  • Wardah Nisar Public Health Department, UHS, University of Health Sciences, Lahore.
  • Rabbiya Sarwar Public Health Department, UHS, University of Health Sciences, Lahore.
  • Shahid Nabi Primary & Secondary Health Care Department, Lahore.
  • Zainab Bilal Malik Department of Anesthesia, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lahore.
  • Shamaila Zamir Department of Community Medicine, UOL, Lahore.

Keywords:

Attitude, Awareness, Healthcare Professionals, Fortification vehicles, Fortificants, Fortified Foods

Abstract

Introduction: Fortification is the practice of deliberately increasing the content of one or more micronutrients i.e., vitamins and minerals in a food or condiment to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health. As well as increasing the nutritional content of staple foods, the addition of micronutrients can help to restore the micronutrient content lost during processing.

Objectives: To assess attitude about fortified foods, awareness regarding usage of fortified food and related recommendations amongst health care professionals of Punjab.

Place and duration of study: All districts of Punjab (Total of 36 districts). The study was carried out from 1st September 2019 to 1st March 2020.

Materials and methods: A descriptive cross sectional study in which total 360 MBBS doctors, nurses, mid wives, lady health care workers from 36 districts of Punjab were taken as sample. A questionnaire highlighting attitude and awareness regarding fortified food consumption amongst health professionals and their recommendations for selection of vehicle and fortificants were used as data collection tool. Data was entered in SPSS version 26.0. For demonstration of attitude related to fortified food, preferred fortificants along with their vehicle and recommended vehicles for fortification, bar chats were used. For quantitative variables frequency and percentages were applied.

Results: Supplements were preferred over consumption of fortified foods by most of the health care professionals i.e.  MBBS doctors, nurses and lady health workers. Whereas, midwives were of the opinion that fortified food should be used rather than supplements. Furthermore, probiotics, calcium, iodine, iron, omega three, vitamin A and vitamin C were least known fortificants amongst health care professionals.

Conclusion: Food fortification is one of the best tools to prevent micro and macronutrients related diseases and illnesses. Most of the health professionals were only aware about fortification of calcium, iodine, vitamin D and iron and their most preferred vehicle for fortification were oil/ghee, juices, bread and water. It is recommended to opt mandatory fortification approaches to be launched legally and strict check and balance regarding their implementation to minimize the disease burden and to improve the immunity of our population. 

Keywords: Attitude, Awareness, Fortified food, Fortificants, Fortification vehicles, Health Care Professionals.

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Published

2023-01-23

How to Cite

1.
Wardah Nisar, Rabbiya Sarwar, Shahid Nabi, Zainab Bilal Malik, Shamaila Zamir. Attitude, awareness and recommendations regarding fortified food usage amongst Health Care Professionals of Punjab. Proceedings S.Z.M.C [Internet]. 2023Jan.23 [cited 2023Feb.1];37(1):11-7. Available from: https://proceedings-szmc.org.pk/index.php/szmc/article/view/288