Nutrient needs are higher during adolescence and those
with sickle cell disease require a diet that provides plenty of calories,
protein, vitamins and minerals. It is therefore pertinent to study the dietary
practices of older children who are mainly adolescents with sickle cell
disease. This study took place at the sickle cell center Benin City, Edo state
using a cluster of clients who are adolescents within the study period of 4
weeks. Clients who participated in this study were both out-patient and in-patients.
A total of 60 clients were interviewed using an interviewer/self
administered questionnaire with 51.7% females and 66.6% were 15 years or less. Although
83.3% of the adolescents reportedly take adequate diet, only 35% include fresh
vegetables, 41% include fresh fruits, 15% include wheat and 17% include beans
in their daily diet. Majority (68.3%) reportedly take ‘special diet’ only when
in crisis. This study has shown that adolescents under study do not adequately
eat diet that are beneficial to their health and good sources of macro and
micronutrients evidenced by the poor irregular intake of fruits, vegetables,
beans and wheat products though they claimed to be taking adequate diet. Consequently,
emphasis need to be placed on intake of adequate nutritious diet regularly and
not just the intake of ‘special diet’ when they are in crisis.
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