Rural-urban differences in food and nutrient intake of Pakistani children

Type Working Paper
Title Rural-urban differences in food and nutrient intake of Pakistani children
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1999
Background: Global increase in urbanisation accompanied by increase in complexftv of nutritional
problems is a cause of concern for most nations.
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the differences in frequency of food consumption and
nutrient intake of urban and rural Pakistani children.
Setting: Forty rural, 59 middle income urban and 81 affluent urban children belonging to the province
of Punjab. Children were recruited through schools in Lahore and Rayonpura, Kala-Shah-Kaku
(Sheikhupura district).
Method: Three-day estimated diet records were kept by a total of 180, 10-12 year old school-children.
The nutrient intake was calculated by the nutritional analysis package COMP-EAT and analysed on
SPSS. The results of the three groups were compared.
Results: Consumption of chapati, eggs, yoghurt and some of the traditional vegetarian snacks was
very, similar in all the three groups. Consumption of lentils, cooked vegetables, paratha (fried Asian
bread) and tea decreased and that of milk, meat curry, chicken curry, chocolates, cakes, ice-cream, fruit
and raw vegetables increased with urbanisation. As compared with the rural children, the urban
children had a higher mean daily intake of calories, sugar, protein, total fats, cholesterol, calcium,
sodium, potassium, niacin, vitamin B12, folic acid, antioxidant vitamins A,C and E and lower intake of
total carbohydrates, fibre and starch.
Conclusion: It is concluded that although the macro-nutrient consumption pattern of rural children
appears to he heart healthy lower consumption of protective micro-nutrients by them may pitt them at
risk. In view of rapid urbanisation and its multidimensional impacts on the health of the populations
living in the u rban areas of the developing world, these dietary trends provide baseline information for
health professionals (JPMA A 49:288,1999).

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