n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Socio-economic factors as determinants of nutrition knowledge of adolescents in Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape of South Africa

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The purpose of this study was to determine the nutritional status, socio-economic situation and nutrition knowledge of adolescents attending five purposively selected schools in rural Eastern Cape Province in South Africa and investigate if socio-economic factors have an influence on nutrition knowledge and nutritional status. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A sample size formula indicated a randomly selected sample of 100 adolescents for the socio-demographic, dietary intake (24-hour recall questionnaire) and anthropometric (weight and height) measurements. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences programme, version 22 was used for statistical analyses and <0.05 was considered significant. Pearson correlations were used to determine significant relationships between socio-economic and nutrition knowledge variables. The results showed that the girls had a higher total nutrition knowledge score of 61.1% compared to 55.6% for the boys (>0.05). The anthropometric results showed that more boys (10.0%) than girls (6.3%) were stunted and 15.3% were at risk of becoming overweight, with the girls (22.9%) being significantly more at risk compared to the boys (8.0%). No significant associations were established between the nutrition knowledge and the socio-economic and anthropometric indicators. It can be concluded that the prevalence of both under- and over nutrition as well as average nutrition knowledge were the main challenges observed in this group of adolescents. Despite evidence that socio-economic factors affect nutrition knowledge, this could not be established in this study.

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