Open Access

Nutritional knowledge, attitude and practice toward micronutrients among Iranian households: the NUTRI-KAP survey

  • Ramin Heshmat1,
  • Zahra Abdollahi2,
  • Farzaneh Sadeghi Ghotbabadi2,
  • Mahsa Rostami1,
  • Gita shafiee1, 3,
  • Mostafa Qorbani4,
  • Mohsen Rezaei Homami5,
  • Bagher Larijani3 and
  • Forouzan Salehi2Email author
Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders201615:42

DOI: 10.1186/s40200-016-0260-8

Received: 12 April 2016

Accepted: 7 September 2016

Published: 4 October 2016

Abstract

Background

Healthy diet for maintaining a healthy weight and prevention of chronic disease is vital at all stages of life. The purpose of this study was to determine the nutritional knowledge, attitude, and practice among urban and rural households in Iran.

Methods

In this nation-wide study, 14,136 subjects were selected using a multistage cluster sampling method from 31 provinces of Iran. This study was on the households in rural and urban areas in Iran. Participants of this study were mothers or other members who were responsible for preparing meals for the whole family. Data were gathered by the questionnaire and the interview with the qualified person in each family.

Results

Frequency of knowledge about food source of calcium was between 11.6 and 64.7 %. Knowing of food source of zinc was about 12.8–16.7 %. Knowledge about of meat as source of iron was 50.9 and 46.5 % in regions of urban and rural, respectively. Positive attitude about preferring to use the full-fat dairy was about 25.1 % and negative attitude about this issue was 71.4 %; the positive attitude was slightly lower in rural areas than in urban areas. Respectively, frequency of using red meat in urban households was 10.8, 73.7, and 15.5 % as daily, weekly and rarely. Frequency of using daily of milk, yogurt and cheese was significantly lower in rural than in urban household.

Conclusion

This national study indicates that in some cases there is a gap between knowledge and behavior among household of Iranian population.

Keywords

Nutrition Knowledge Attitude Practice

Background

Recently, changes in lifestyle have led to an increase in the rate of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, osteoporosis, cancer, hypertension, and diabetes [1]. Studies have shown inappropriate feeding practices can be a cause of increasing prevalence of disease and other problems [24]. Micronutrients plays a main role in metabolism of cells and health [5]. Micronutrients are vital nutrients and these are found in vitamins, minerals and trace elements [6].

It seems appropriate nutrition intervention can be important in the choice of food. The factors related with food choices among individuals are nutrition knowledge, attitude and practice [7, 8]. Studies in Iran showed 75.5 % of households in intake of calcium, 43.9 % of them in intake of iron, and 41.7 % in intake of vitamin A, 39.1 % in intake of riboflavin and 30.9 % in intake of vitamin C were deficient. A study in Iran have shown that daily nutritional in university students have some deficiency in calcium, vitamins A, C and Iron for female [9]. Knowledge of nutrition is introduced to decrease of some diseases [10, 11]. It seems malnutrition is generally due to lack of nutritional information rather food deficiency. Therefore Education can improve nutritional knowledge. On the other hand, the majority of nutritional practices do not accord with nutritional knowledge. Studies have shown there is a gap between knowledge and Performance [12]. Since studies regarding of micronutrients among Iranian households has not been done, so study in this field is essential. The purpose of this research was to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of households about micronutrients in urban and rural regions of Iran.

Methods

Subjects and sampling

The participants of present study were 14,136 people who were responsible for preparing meals for the whole family and were older than 15 years old. Participants were selected from households from rural and urban areas in 31 provinces of Iran through multi-single cluster sampling technique. Only Iranian households were included in this study and foreign families were excluded, also if a family was absent at the time of interview for three times was excluded from the study. The protocol of the study was published previously [13, 14].

Data collection

Data were gathered by a structured questionnaire and interview with qualified person in each family. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire was assessed in the pilot study and Cronbachs alpha was reported 0.79 [13]. KAP of Iranian households were assessed about micronutrients including calcium, zinc, Iron, and vitamin D. The knowledge grade was measured by 5 items, and categories of response were she/he knows or she/he does not know. Status of attitude was assessed by 5 items and categories of response were from 1 = I completely agree to 5 = I completely disagree. By 11 items, practice status was determined and answers ranged from daily to never.

After completion of the sampling questionnaires were controlled by officers in each province. If there were imperfectly or incompletely questionnaires, they were returned to the interviewees for further clarify and correction of any missing or inconsistent data. Also, randomly 10 % of the questionnaires of each province for identify any mistake were rechecked.

Statistical analysis

Data were analyzed by the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software version 16 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Descriptive variables were reported as frequency (%95 Confidence Interval). Method of sampling (cluster sampling) was considered in all statistical analysis. The significant level was P-value < 0.05.

Result

Table 1 shows the knowledge of Iranian households about micronutrient based on regions. Totally, frequency of knowledge about food source of calcium was between 11.6 % (CI 95 %: 10.7–12.5) and 64.7 % (CI 95 %: 63.3–66.1) among Iranian households. Significantly, urban families had more information about food source of calcium compared to rural households (P-value < 0.001). Knowledge about of food source of zinc was about 12.8–16.7 % in Iranian population, and there was significant different about knowledge of this issue between urban and rural areas. Respectively, knowledge about of zinc as nutrient was 34.7 % (CI 95 %: 33.2–36.2) and 18.6 % (CI 95 %: 16.9–20.5) in urban and rural regions. Knowledge about of meat as source of iron was 50.9 % (CI 95 %: 49.5–52.4) and 46.5 % (CI 95 %: 44.3–48.8) in urban and rural areas, respectively.
Table 1

Correct knowledge of Iranian households about micronutrient based on Region: the NUTRI-KAP survey

 

Urban

Rural

Total

P-value

Knowledge about of food source of calcium

Milk

67.9* (66.3–69.6)

59.0 (56.4–61.4)

64.7 (63.3–66.1)

<0.001

Yogurt

59.7 (58.1–61.4)

50.6 (48.1–53.1)

56.5 (55.1–57.9)

<0.001

Cheese

48.3 (46.6–50.1)

39.8 (37.4,42.2)

45.3 (43.9–46.7)

<0.001

Yogurt

36.9 (35.1–38.7)

31.4 (29.1–33.9)

34.9 (33.5–36.4)

<0.001

Curd

29.1 (27.4,30.8)

22.8 (20.6–25.1)

26.8 (25.5–28.2)

<0.001

Types of Cabbage

13.6 (12.5–14.8)

7.9 (6.7–9.2)

11.6 (10.7–12.5)

<0.001

Knowledge about of the best source of vitamin D (Direct sunlight)

33.1 (31.7–34.5)

17.7 (16.1–19.4)

27.7 (26.6–28.8)

<0.001

Knowledge about of zinc as a nutrient

34.7 (33.2–36.2)

18.6 (16.9–20.5)

29.0 (27.9–30.2)

<0.001

Knowledge about of food source of zinc

Meat

16.6 (15.1–18.3)

16.9 (13.9–20.3)

16.7 (15.2–18.2)

0.9

liver

8.4 (7.1–9.8)

13.3 (10.8–16.4)

9.6 (8.4–10.9)

<0.001

Cheese

3.4 (2.8–4.1)

8.7 (6.2–11.9)

4.7 (3.9–5.7)

<0.001

Nuts

13.3 (11.8–14.9)

11.3 (9.0–13.9)

12.8 (11.5–14.1)

0.2

Knowledge about of food source of iron

Meat

50.9 (49.5–52.4)

46.5 (44.3–48.8)

49.4 (48.2–50.1)

<0.001

liver

39.8 (38.1–41.4)

32.2 (29.8–34.7)

37.1 (35.7–38.5)

<0.001

Eggs

17.8 (16.6–19.0)

18.6 (16.9–20.4)

18.1 (17.1–19.1)

0.4

bean

47.4 (45.8–48.9)

45.7 (43.4–48.0)

46.8 (45.5–48.1)

0.2

Vegetables

56.3 (54.7–57.8)

45.5 (43.2–47.8)

52.4 (51.1–53.7)

<0.001

Dried fruit and nuts

18.6 (17.4–20.0)

15.5 (13.8–17.3)

17.5 (16.5–18.6)

0.006

*% (95 % CI), P-value <0.05

Table 2 shows the attitude of Iranian households about micronutrient based on regions. Positive attitude about preferring to use the full-fat dairy was about 25.1 % (CI 95 %: 24.0–26.3) and negative attitude about this issue was 71.4 % (CI 95 %: 70.2–72.6), which positive attitude was slightly lower in rural than urban areas (P-value <0.001). Significantly, positive attitude about keeping children out of direct sunlight in rural regions was slightly higher than urban regions (27.5 % vs. 32.8 %, P-value < 0.001). Respectively, favorable attitude about the same nutritional value of mushrooms as meat in urban and rural families were 9.6 % (CI 95 %: 8.8–10.4), and 13.4 % (CI 95 %: 11.9–14.9).
Table 2

Attitude of Iranian households about micronutrient based on Region: the NUTRI-KAP survey

 

Urban

Rural

Total

P-value

Preferring to use the full-fat dairy

I agree

22.83* (21.5–24.1)

29.3 (27.4–31.3)

25.1 (24.0–26.3)

<0.001

I have no idea

3.5 (2.9–4.3)

3.4 (2.6–4.4)

3.5 (2.9–4.1)

<0.001

I disagree

73.6 (72.2–75.1)

67.3 (65.1–69.4)

71.4 (70.2–72.6)

<0.001

Keeping children out of direct sunlight

I agree

27.5 (26.1–28.9)

32.8 (30.9–34.8)

29.4 (28.2–30.6)

<0.001

I have no idea

2.6 (2.2–3.0)

3.4 (2.8–4.1)

2.9 (2.5–3.2)

<0.001

I disagree

69.9 (68.4–71.4)

63.8 (61.7–65.8)

67.7 (66.5–68.9)

<0.001

Daily milk intake only for children is required.

I agree

10.4 (9.5–11.5)

12.4 (10.9–13.9)

11.1 (10.3–12.0)

0.02

I have no idea

0.7 (0.5–0.9)

0.95 (0.68–1.31)

0.77 0.62–0.95

0.02

I disagree

88.9 (87.8–89.9)

86.7 (84.9–88.2)

88.1 (87.2–88.9)

0.02

Benefits of chocolate milk consumption in children who do not drink milk.

I agree

42.1 (40.5–43.6)

40.2 (38.2–42.3)

41.4 (40.2–42.7)

0.3

I have no idea

13.8 (12.7–15.0)

16.3 (14.7–18.1)

14.7 (13.7–15.7)

0.3

I disagree

44.2 (42.6–45.7)

43.5 (41.5–45.5)

43.9 (42.7–45.1)

0.3

The same nutritional value of mushrooms as meat

I agree

65.1 (63.6–66.6)

60.9 (58.7–63.1)

63.6 (62.4–64.85

<0.001

I have no idea

9.6 (8.8–10.4)

13.4 (11.9–14.9)

10.9 (10.2–11.7)

<0.001

I disagree

25.3 (23.9–26.7)

25.8 (23.9–27.6)

25.5 (24.4–26.9)

<0.001

*%(95 % CI), P-value <0.05

Table 3 shows practice of Iranian households about consumption of food source of micronutrient. Totally, frequency of red meat consumption among Iranian population was 10.1 % (CI 95 %: 9.3–10.9), 71.1 % (CI 95 %:69.9–72.2), and 18.9 % (CI 95 %: 17.8–19.9) as daily, weekly and rarely, respectively. Significantly, red meat consumption was higher in urban households than rural households (P-value <0.001). The rate of fish intake among Iranian population was 1.9 % (CI 95 %: 1.5–2.2) and 40.3 % (CI 95 %: 38.9–41.6), and 57.9 % (CI 95 %: 56.5–59.3) as daily, weekly and rarely, respectively. Frequency of weekly consumption of fish in rural households (2.5 %, CI 95 %: 1.8–3.4) was significantly higher than urban households (1.5 %, CI 95 %: 1.5–2.3). Frequency of daily consumption of fresh vegetables in urban households (59.3 %, CI 95 %: 57.6–61.0) was significantly greater than rural households (43.7 %, CI 95 %: 41.1–46.3). Frequency of daily intake of milk, yogurt and cheese in rural households was significantly lower than urban household (78.6 % vs. 84.8, P-value < 0.001).
Table 3

Practice of Iranian households about micronutrient based on Region: the NUTRI-KAP survey

 

Urban

Rural

Total

P-value

Frequency of red meat consumption in your households

Daily

10.8* (9.8–11.8)

8.8 (7.6–10.2)

10.1 (9.3–10.9)

<0.001

Every Week

73.7 (72.4–75.1)

66.2 (64.0–68.2)

71.1 (69.9–72.2)

<0.001

Rarely

15.5 (14.4–16.7)

25.0 (23.1–27.1)

18.9 (17.8–19.9)

<0.001

Frequency of Liver, heart and kidneys consumption in your households

Daily

0.98 (0.72–0.37)

0.40 (0.26–0.64)

0.78 (0.59–1.03)

0.06

Every Week

17.8 (16.6–19.1)

18.8 (17.2–20.4)

18.1 (17.2–19.2)

0.06

Rarely

81.2 (79.9–82.5)

80.83 (79.2–82.4)

81.1 (80.0–82.1)

0.06

Frequency of chicken and cygnus consumption in your households

Daily

12.4 (11.3–13.6)

11.6 (10.1–13.3)

12.13 (11.23–13.1)

0.06

Every Week

78.8 (77.4–80.1)

77.7 (75.8–79.6)

78.4 (77.3–79.5)

0.06

Rarely

8.8 (8.04–9.59)

10.7 (9.5–12.0)

9.5 (8.8–10.1)

0.06

Frequency of fish consumption in your households

Daily

1.5 (1.5–2.3)

2.5 (1.8–3.4)

1.9 1.518,2.27

<0.001

Every Week

43.6 (42.0–45.2)

34.3 (32.0–36.6)

40.3 (38.9–41.6)

<0.001

Rarely

54.9 (53.3–56.6)

63.2 (60.7–65.6)

57.9 (56.5–59.3)

<0.001

Frequency of eggs consumption in your households

Daily

23.5 (22.2–24.9)

26.8 (24.8–29.0)

24.7 (23.6–25.8)

0.004

Every Week

67.0 (65.5–68.5)

62.8 (60.6–64.9)

65.51 (64.3–66.7)

0.004

Rarely

9.5 (8.7–10.4)

10.4 (9.2–11.7)

9.8 (9.1–10.5)

0.004

Frequency of bean consumption your households

Daily

19.9 (18.6–21.3)

19.4 (17.6–21.4)

19.8 (18.7–20.9)

0.03

Every Week

71.5 (70.0–73.0)

73.9 (71.8–75.8)

72.4 (71.1–73.5)

0.03

Rarely

8.5 (7.7–9.4)

6.7 (5.8–7.71)

7.9 (7.3–8.5)

0.03

Frequency of fresh vegetables consumption (salad and fresh herbs) your households

Daily

59.3 (57.6–61.0)

43.7 (41.1,46.3)

53.8 (52.3–55.2)

<0.001

Every Week

34.7 (33.2–36.3)

45.1 (42.7–47.4)

38.4 (37.1–39.7)

<0.001

Rarely

6.0 (5.3–6.7)

11.3 (9.96–12.7)

7.9 (7.2–8.6)

<0.001

Frequency of milk, yogurt and cheese consumption your households

Daily

84.8 (83.6–86.0)

78.6 (76.3–80.7)

82.6 (81.5–83.7)

<0.001

Every Week

12.5 (11.5–13.6)

18.3 (16.4–20.4)

14.6 (13.6–15.6)

<0.001

Rarely

2.7 (2.2–3.2)

3.2 (2.6–3.9)

2.8 (2.5–3.3)

<0.001

Frequency of butter, cream or cream consumption in your households

Daily

28.3 (27.0–29.7)

30.3 (28.3–32.3)

29.0 (27.9–30.1)

0.3

Every Week

38.4 (36.9–39.8)

37.2 (35.2–39.2)

38.0 (36.8–39.1)

0.3

Rarely

33.3 (31.9–34.8)

32.6 (30.5–34.6)

33.1 (31.9–34.3)

0.3

Frequency of nuts and dried fruits consumption in your households

Daily

16.2 (15.1–17.43)

16.9 (15.4–18.6)

16.5 (15.6–17.4)

0.5

Every Week

33.4 (32.0–34.9)

31.9 (30.0–33.9)

32.9 (31.8–34.1)

0.5

Rarely

50.3 (48.7–52.0)

51.2 (49.0–53.4)

50.6 (49.3–52.0)

0.5

Frequency of doogh consumption in your households

Daily

39.9 (38.3–41.6)

44.6 (42.2–47.1)

41.6 (40.2–43.0)

0.001

Every Week

47.8 (46.2–49.4)

43.0 (40.8–45.2)

46.1 (44.8–47.4)

0.001

Rarely

12.3 (11.3–13.2)

12.4 (11.1–13.8)

12.3 (11.5–13.1)

0.001

*%(95 % CI), P-value <0.05

Discussion

Healthy diet plays a vital role in the country’s human resource development. Past studies have shown which determination of knowledge, attitude and practice of the population for improvement of health program is essential [15]. In our study, the KAP of Iranian households toward micronutrients including zinc, iron, calcium, and vitamin D were assessed in urban and rural regions.

Our data showed knowledge about food sources of micronutrients among urban households were significantly higher than rural households. Likely, this difference was caused by information poverty among villagers. So we should pay attention to this issue which peoples in rural area do not enough information about micronutrients.

Past study indicated there is an association between nutrition knowledge and healthy diet. In addition, nutritional knowledge has the potential to contribute to improving dietary quality [7]. The findings of our study showed that knowledge level of urban and rural families about food source of calcium, zinc, and direct sunlight as best source of vitamin D were relatively low. So, enhancing of the training program is offered in both areas.

In this study positive attitude about the same nutritional value of mushrooms as meat was 63.6 % and negative attitude was about 25.5 %. Favorable attitude about preferring to use the full-fat dairy was 22.8 % and 29.3 % among urban and rural households, respectively. Past survey of attitude and beliefs about diet and nutrition in some countries of the European union found which there was difference eating patterns among various cultural [16]. In addition, another study in china has shown although majority of the residents understand about unhealthy foods but only a few of them take action to healthy foods intake [17]. Behavior of an individual is determined by person attitude and community pressure.

Our data demonstrated that performance of nutrition was different in urban and rural areas in Iran. Our study showed that frequency of daily consumption of red meat in Iranian households was 10.8 %, and 8.8 % and frequency of weekly intake was 73.7 % and 66.2 % in urban and rural regions, respectively. So, a significant difference was observed between these regions (<0.001). Also frequency of daily intake of fish was about 12.4 % in urban and 11.6 % in rural areas. And frequency of weekly using was 78.8 % and 77.7 % in urban and rural regions, respectively. Frequency of use of milk, yogurt and cheese was 84.8 and 78.6 % among urban and rural households, respectively. The study among women in Tabriz showed despite high levels of awareness but performance was poor [18]. Influential factors on practice can be beliefs, availability of food and economics issues. Changing households’ attitudes, knowledge and awareness about healthy diet leads them to make better food choices. Past studies have shown that poor nutritional knowledge may lead to inappropriate nutritional practice [19]. Nevertheless, there are different issues which lead to the distance between knowledge and practice. So it is essential that these factors should be identified and resolved at the community.

Conclusion

This national study showed that KAP of nutrition was different in urban and rural areas. And also generally in some cases there are distance between knowledge and behavior. It seems we need to pay attention to this regard more in order to increase KAP of community and increase of healthy diet among urban and rural community.

Abbreviation

KAP: 

Knowledge, attitude and practice

Declarations

Acknowledgement

The authors express their appreciation to those who helped us in gathering data all households that participated in this survey.

Funding

NUTRI-KAP survey is funded by Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

Availability of data and materials

The dataset supporting the conclusions of this article will not be shared publicly, to ensure participants’ privacy. The data as SPSS program is available upon request.

Authors’ contributions

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Consent for publication

Consent to publish was attained from the study participants.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The protocol of the study was approved by ethical committee.

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Chronic Diseases Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
(2)
Community Nutrition Department, Ministry of Health and Medical Education
(3)
Endocrinology & Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
(4)
Department of Community Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences
(5)
Rasoul-e-Akram Hospital Complex, Iran University of Medical Sciences

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