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Chapter one


Healthy living by women in their reproductive years (18-49yrs) can set a foundations for good material and infant health.

A healthy mother can produce a healthy child and as such women are regarded as the nerve centre of the family and society. Maternal nutrition and health is considered as the most important regulation of the human fatal growth (venture, 2008).

Health promoting lifestyle is a valuable source for reducing the incidence and impact of health problems and improving the quality of life.

Lifestyle factors are behaviours and circumstances that are or were once modifiable and can be contributing factor to sub-fertility.

Fertility is the capacity to produce offspring, whereas fecundity is the woman’ s biological ability to reproduce based on the monthly probability of conception (wood, 1889). Clinical integrity is defined as the inability to become pregnant after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. Lifestyle factors have had a dramatic impact on general health and the capacity to reproduce. Lifestyle issues such as smoking and obesity can affect general health and well-being. For example, smoking increases an  individuals risk of cardio-vascular disease (Leone,2003) and adverse consequences associated with obesity include increased risk of cardio vascular disease, diabetes and some cancer (Haslam and James, 2005). There is an increasing body of evidence that lifestyle factors can impact on reproductive performance for example, studies have demonstrated that smoking in women significantly decreases the chance of conception (Hughes and Brennan, 1996; Augood et al; 1998).

Post-industrial Western society has created the potential for increasing the exposure to specific lifestyle factors and behaviours that can positively or negatively affect reproductive health. For example, obesity is often associated with lack of exercise and inappropriate diet (Cameron et al; 2003), delayed child bearing, smoking and exposure to environment pollutants and chemicals. Nutrition is very important in the existence of life and as such plays a dominant role in growth.

Nutrition is essential for adequate growth and mental development. Students have shown that good nutrition boats a nutritional status can be seen or referred to as the interpretation assessment (Nyaruhucha et al 2006).

According to FAO (982), nutritional status of a people or community is referred to as the outcome of an interaction between the inherited genetic potential and its life condition (environmental factor, food, income, health, education etc.). the information obtained during the survey or anthropemetric assessment can be used to determine the physical and health status of individuals or group of population as influenced by their nutrient intake and also their utilization by the body (aibson, 1990). This can be classified into types of nutritional  status namely: under nutrition, normal nutrition and over nutrition .

Under-nutrition occurs when there is insufficient amount of food nutrients in the body of an individual that does not meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) per day for some period. This problem has serious long term consequence for the child and also has adverse influence for the development of the nation. Most common nutritional are protein energy mal-nutrition (PEM), iron deficiency anaemia (IDA), iodine deficiency. Disorder (IDD) and vitamin A deficiency (VAD) (ACC/SCN, 2000).  Normal nutrition occurs when there is sufficient amount of nutrient in the body of a nn individual that meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) per day for a long period and for optimum health and vital activities of life. This is associated with people of regular income, good nutrition education  and mostly developed countries.

Over nutrition refers to the consumption of excessive amount of one or more nutrient. This condition can lead to obesity, hypervitamiosis A and degenerative disease etc. This mostly  occur

This mostly occurs in developed countries like U.S.A, England, Spain, etc. (Ene-Obong, 2001).


Nutrition status of women especially in reproductive age groupis an important factor to determine the outcomes of pregnancy and overall health of the women.

A woman’s childhood nutritional experience can affect her growth. Inadequate nutrient has been known to limit linear growth and hence compromise development of elaborate reproductive structre (Krasover and Anderson, 2001). In some developing countries many6 women are shory and under weight and the number of low birth weight(LBW) babies, is particularly high. LBW infants have less chance of survival, when they do survive they are prone to diseases, growth retadartion, impaired mental development.

Researchers believe that a healthy lifestyle should be adpted to by women of child bearing  age so  as to ameliorate the health of the mother and child and reduce the risk of birth defects, suboptimal, tetal development, chronic health problems an prevent excessive weight gain before and during pregnancy. It is therefore of utmost importance to access the nutritional startus and lifestyle of women of reproductive  age.


The broad objecives is to access the nutritionalstatus and lifestyle of women (18-49) of reproductive age in Nkanu-East L.G.A in Enugu State.


To access the nutritioinal intake of  the study group using dietary recall whether it meets the standard recommendedDietary Allowancw (RDA).

To acccces the BMI using weight for higher indices and to use analyzed to give advice on their nutiritional improvement.

The identify their different lifestyle and how its influencing their food habbit,


1.2.2 specific objectives

To access the nutrient intake of the study group using 24hrs dietary recall whether it meets t6yhev standard recommended Dietry Allowance (RDA).

To access their BMI using weight for higher indices and to use the data analyzed to give advice on their nutritional improvement.

To identify their different lifestyles and how it’s influencing their food habit and reproduction.


Some persons are ignorant of the fact that lifestyle and nutritional status of women especially in reproductive age have  dramatic impact on general health of a woman and the capacity to reproduce therefore, this research work will give an insight on the need for women of reproductive age to adopt healthier lifestyles and improve nutrition status.


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