Assessment of nutritional status and level of alcohol dependence among men residents of Gesima village, Nyamira county, Kenya
Migiro Victor, Omori Eric, Cholo Wilberforce
Background: Excessive alcohol consumption affects nutritional status in two major ways. One it displaces other foods from the diet, two it affects metabolism and utilization of both macro and micro nutrients. Intake of Vitamins A, C and B and minerals such as calcium, iron may be consumed below Required Nutrient Intake (RNI). The main objective of the study was to investigate prevalence of malnutrition and level of alcohol dependence among men living in Gesima village. Methods: A cross sectional study was used where 126 households systematic randomly sampled. 254 consenting men aged16-45 years old from the 126 households were recruited into the study and structured questionnaire was administered to them to obtain data. The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) was used to group the men into the various alcohol dependence levels. Anthropometric measurements including Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC), weight, height and Skin Folds were also taken. Food frequency questionnaire was used to ascertain the dietary intake of the respondents. Statistical techniques including the chi-square, t-test and logistic regression were employed in the analysis. All the analysis was done using SPSS V.17.0. P<0.05 was considered significant. Results: Among the study subjects, 118(46.5%) had primary level of education and 210(82.7%) were in informal employment. Their mean age (years) was 29.04(SD 6.7). Slightly more than half 134(52.8%) had a monthly household income of between Kshs 1000-5000. Based on BMI, 210 (82.7%) of the respondents were normal weight for nutrition status. Only 43(17%) were hazardous drinkers. Conclusion: Findings from this study indicate that marital status significantly influences the level of alcohol dependence whereby the married are more alcohol dependent than the single, separated or widowed and alcohol consumption in turn inversely affects nutritional status. There is need for increased community education on the adverse effects of alcohol at the individual, household and community level so as to reduce alcohol dependence thereby improving the nutritional status of the study population.