Introduction: Food cravings are intense urge to obtain certain foods. Maternal dietary intake and nutrition status of mothers, fetuses and infants after birth can be affected by food cravings. They are the body’s mechanism to supply and correct the deficient nutrient for the mother herself and growing fetus The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and factors associated with food craving among pregnant women in Dessie City Administration, Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross sectional study design was employed in the community of Dessie City Administration pregnant women from January 10 to February 15, 2018. The number of the study participant (sample size) was 589. Participants were selected by simple random sampling method from a sampling frame. The data were collected by using structured questionnaire and the method of data collection was face to face interview and mid upper arm circumference measurement. They were entered in to EpiData version 3.1 software and then exported to SPSS version 23 for analysis. All variables with P-value less than 0.25 in bivariable logistic regression analysis were entered into multivariable logistic regression. Data analysis was made using backward stepwise method. In the final model analysis, variables with P-value less than 0.05 and 95% confidence interval were declared statistically significant.
Result: This study identified that 281(47.7%) of the study participants developed food cravings. The factors significantly associated with food cravings among pregnant women of Dessie City Administration were level of education, food tradition, and pica practice.
Conclusion and recommendations: The study revealed that the prevalence of food cravings among pregnant women was high. Maternal education, pica and food tradition had significant association with food craving among pregnant women during multivariable logistic regression. Pregnant women should be counseled regarding good and bad food traditions. The family should provide pregnant women psychological support and play its role in attention distraction during severe cravings.
Keywords: Food craving, prevalence, pregnant women, Dessie City Administration.