Publication details

Nutritional Health Knowledge and Literacy among Pregnant Women in the Czech Republic: Analytical Cross-Sectional Study

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Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Keywords cross-sectional studies; Czech Republic; health literacy; nutrition surveys; pregnancy
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Description Adequate nutrition and the nutritional status of pregnant women are critical for the health of both the mother and the developing foetus. Research has shown a significant impact of nutrition on the child’s health and the future risk of developing chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. There is currently no data on the level of nutritional knowledge of Czech pregnant women. This survey aimed to evaluate their level of nutritional knowledge and literacy. An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted in two healthcare facilities in Prague and Pilsen between April and June 2022. An anonymous self-administered paper-form questionnaire for assessing the level of nutritional knowledge (40 items) and the Likert scale for assessing nutrition literacy (5 items) were used. A total number of 401 women completed the questionnaire. An individual’s nutritional knowledge score was calculated and compared with demographic and anamnestic characteristics using statistical methods. The results showed that only 5% of women achieved an overall nutritional score of 80% or more. University education (p < 0.001), living in the capital city (p < 0.001), experiencing first pregnancy (p = 0.041), having normal weight and being overweight (p = 0.024), and having NCDs (p = 0.044) were statistically significantly associated with a higher nutritional knowledge score. The lowest knowledge scores were found in the areas of optimal energy intake, optimal weight gain, and the role of micronutrients in diet during pregnancy. In conclusion, the study shows limited nutrition knowledge of Czech pregnant women in some areas of nutrition. Increasing nutritional knowledge and nutrition literacy in Czech pregnant women is crucial for supporting their optimal course of pregnancy and the future health of their offspring.
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