Dietary Intake and Prevalence of Dental Caries among Five-Year-Old Children in Urban and Rural Areas of Uasin-Gishu County, Kenya

Wakhungu, H. K. ; et al. (2020-08)

Dental caries is a major public health problem associated with diet and nutrition affecting 60-90% of children globally with the burden in both industrialized and less industrialized countries undergoing nutrition transition. The aim of this study was to assess the relation between the dietary intake and nutritional status on dental caries prevalence of 5-year-old school children in urban and rural areas of Uasin-Gishu County. In this study, 382 five year old children and their parents/caregivers were sampled from urban and rural schools in Uasin-Gishu County to participate in the study. Dental caries status was assessed based on the criteria proposed by WHO for oral health surveys. Structured questionnaires was used to gather information on demographic and socio-economic status. A quantitative food frequency questionnaire was used to collect data on dietary intake. Dietary intake data was analyzed using ENA for SMART computer programmes and the rest of the data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 21 (2007). The prevalence of dental caries stood at 39.3% with a mean dft of 1.55 and 60.7% being dental caries free. Children met their nutrient requirements for protein, vitamin C, calcium, and phosphorus, but did not meet the requirements for energy, folate, vitamin A, and iron. Many children from urban than rural areas consumed sweets/candies at 33.5% and 15.3% respectively. Children from urban areas (288) had the highest mean dft of 1.83±1.37 while those from rural areas (154) had a mean dft score of 1.16±1.13. This was significantly different (p<0.05). Overweight was higher in the urban population compared to the rural population at 13.64% and 8.96% respectively. The prevalence of underweight was higher in rural areas at 10.7%, stunting at 14.6% and wasting at 6.8%. There is inadequate intake of Energy, Vitamin A and Iron in the diet consumed by the 5-year-old which might be contributing to dental caries prevalence both in the urban and rural areas of Uasin – Gishu County, Kenya. Children should be fed on nutrient rich foods and cariogenic foods should be consumed occasionally.

EJFOOD, European Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences


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