African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 903

Full Length Research Paper

Knowledge of nutrition and health benefits and frequency of consumption of fruits and vegetables among Ghanaian homemakers

Christina A. Nti*, Joana Hagan, Florence Bagina and Mabel Seglah
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 27 April 2011
  •  Published: 30 June 2011

Abstract

A cross-sectional survey was conducted with the objective of assessing homemakers’ knowledge of the nutritional and health benefits of fruits and vegetables and how this knowledge influenced their consumption. A systematic random sampling technique was used to select one hundred and fifty homemakers from three locations in Ghana. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used to collect data on forms in which fruits and vegetables were consumed, reasons for consumption, frequency of consumption, knowledge of nutrition and health benefits and sources of knowledge. The chi-square test was used to test for statistical differences between categorical variables, while the independent samples t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to test differences between continuous variables. In all the tests, p-values less than 0.05 were considered significant. The results showed that although most of the respondents had a fair knowledge of the nutritional and health benefits of fruits and vegetables, it did not reflect in their frequency of consumption. Frequency of consumption was generally low especially for fruits. People with higher education tended to have more knowledge of the benefits of fruits and vegetables, and thus consumed them frequently. The respondents indicated that they consumed fruits and vegetables because they promote growth and development (47%) and also provide balanced diet (24%). Other reasons given for consuming fruits and vegetables were that they supply vitamins, give blood and boost the immune system. The mass media (mainly television and radio), health workers, literature and formal education were respondents’ main sources of information on the nutritional and health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Key words: Fruits, vegetables, knowledge, homemakers, health, nutrition.