Food Taboos and Myths in South Eastern Nigeria: The Belief and Practice of Mothers in the Region
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Background: Poor nutritional practices especially in pregnancy and early childhood can result in dire consequences in the growth and development of a child. Methods: This study using purposive sampling enrolled 149 women who had carried at least one pregnancy to term in Enugu south east Nigeria. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess association between avoidance of certain food in pregnancy and selected socio-demographic factors. Results: Approximately 37 % of respondents avoided some foods in pregnancy due to food taboos and no relationship was seen between this avoidance of food and maternal educational attainment, parity (number of obstetrics deliveries) and occupation. Snail and grass-cutter meat were the commonly avoided food in pregnancy while egg were commonly avoided in children under-two years old. Some respondent believed eating snail and grass-cutter meat makes a child sluggish and labour difficult respectively while starting egg early for a child could predispose them to stealing later in life. Conclusion: Discussion about food taboos during antenatal care visits and during community education can help reduce the traditional belief about certain food in pregnancy and early childhood.
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
© 2016 Ekwochi et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Primary Health Care