Food insecurity and perceived stress but not HIV infection are independently associated with lower energy intakes among lactating Ghanaian women
Author(s)Addo, Adolphina A.
Marquis, Grace S.
Lartey, Anna A.
Mazur, Robert E
Harding, Kimberly B.
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AbstractHIV seropositive women living in low-income communities may have difficulty meeting the increased energy requirements that are associated with both lactation and HIV infection. Data on household food security and maternal socio-demographic characteristics, perceived stress, anthropometry, reported illness, dietary intakes and preferences, and exposure to nutrition education were collected from 70 lactating women (16 seropositive (HP), 27 seronegative (HN), and 27 who refused to be tested and had unknown HIV status (HU)). Diet was assessed with three 24-hr recalls (one market day, one weekend day, and one non-market weekday). Data were collected at 8.4 (SD=4.7) months postpartum. Most women (74.3%) reported being in good health at the time of study. Three-day mean energy intakes did not differ by HIV status (HP: 12000 kJ (SD=3600), HN: 12600 kJ (SD=5100), and HU: 12300 kJ (SD= 4800); p=0.94). Protein, fat, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and zinc intakes also did not differ by group (p>0.10). There was a higher proportion of women with high stress levels in food insecure households compared to food secure households (55.6% vs. 26.5%; p=0.01). Energy intake was independently negatively associated with food insecurity (high: 11300 kJ (SD=3500) vs. low: 13400 kJ (SD=5400), respectively; p=0.050) and stress (high: 10800 kJ (SD=2800) vs. low: 13400 kJ (SD=5300), p=0.021). These results suggest the need to integrate multi-dimensional interventions that address economic and mental health constraints which may limit some women’s ability to meet their dietary needs.