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ISSN: 0331-4111
Volume 16, No. 1  (2018)


Perceived Effects of Dietary Behaviour on Household Food Security and Health of the Elderly Yoruba in Oyo State, Nigeria
Lukman Tunde Fasasi & Ayodele Samuel Jegede
Department of Sociology University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Household Dietary Behaviour (HDB) is concerned with food choices, sharing and serving, and eating patterns adopted in households that ensure access to nutritious food among all members for healthy living. Discriminatory dietary behaviour may limit access to nutritious food, especially by the elderly, and lead to chronic diseases. This study, anchored on Weberian Social Action theory, was a cross-sectional survey of 854 household heads, in five randomly selected Local Government Areas of Oyo state, Nigeria, to examine the perceived effects of changing dietary behaviours on Household Food Security (HFS) and health of the elderly. Data collected were analysed using frequencies and percentages for Univariate analysis, and Chi-square and ANOVA to describe the relationship between HDB, HFS and health of the elderly. Using composite scale, the survey results showed that about 65% of the elderly in the sampled households were food insecure while analysis of self-reported physical impairments revealed that only about 37% were healthy. The household dietary behaviours, like food sharing and feeding patterns, significantly related to the HFS, and also the perceived health status of the elderly, at p<0.05. There was also significant association between HDB and perceived health status of the elderly. The study concluded that most of the elderly were affected by household dietary behavior, which is inimical to their health. Households should avoid discriminatory practices in food choices and feeding patterns which place the elderly, especially those living alone, at disadvantaged positions.
Keywords: Dietary behaviour, feeding patterns, household food security, perceived health status

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