People’s perception of food products during food choice is a very complex phenomenon that is influenced by a wide range of characteristics that an individual, groups and local communities make. This study investigated nutritional status and associated motives of food choice among lactating women from Debre Birhan Town. Anthropometric measurements and motives of food choice questionnaire were administered among 423 randomly selected women using cross-sectional study. Data was analyzed via SPSS version 20. Associated drivers of food choice to nutritional status of women were identified by logistic regression analysis, and p-value < 0.05 was taken as statistically significant. Prevalence of chronic energy deficiency was 21.7%. From multivariate logistic regression model, healthy meal eating motivation, price and mood concern were identified as most significant drivers of food choice influencing nutritional status of women with AOR (95% CI) of 2.1 (1.21-3.62), 3.01(1.32-6.9) and 0.5(0.30-0.95) respectively. Focus on supporting women’s motivations to attain their good health by addressing issues of dietary behavior through nutrition education about healthy food choice is recommended. Since awareness creation is an important to inspire women, their families and communities to increase food intake, proper dietary practices and dietary diversification in order to be successful in improving the livelihood of women.
Key words: Nutritional status, motives, food choice, lactating women.
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