Factors influencing consumption of nutrient rich forest foods in rural Cameroon
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Fungo, R.; Muyonga, J.; Kabahenda, M.; Okia, C.; Snook, L. (2016) Factors influencing consumption of nutrient rich forest foods in rural Cameroon. Appetite 97 p. 176–184 ISSN: 0195-6663
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/70977
Studies show that a number of forest foods consumed in Cameroon are highly nutritious and rich in health boosting bioactive compounds. This study assessed the knowledge and perceptions towards the nutritional and health promoting properties of forest foods among forest dependent communities. The relationship between knowledge, perceptions and socio-demographic attributes on consumption of forest foods was also determined. A total of 279 females in charge of decision making with respect to food preparation were randomly selected from 12 villages in southern and eastern Cameroon and interviewed using researcher administered questionnaires. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify the factors affecting consumption of forest foods. Baillonella toxisperma (98%) and Irvingia gabonesis (81%) were the most known nutrient rich forest foods by the respondents. About 31% of the respondents were aware of the nutritional value and health benefits of forest foods. About 10%–61% of the respondents expressed positive attitudes to questions related with health benefits of specific forest foods. Consumption of forest foods was found to be higher among polygamous families and also positively related to length of stay in the forest area and age of respondent with consumption of forest foods. Education had an inverse relationship with use of forest foods. Knowledge and positive attitude towards the nutritional value of forest foods were also found to positively influence consumption of forest foods. Since knowledge was found to influence attitude and consumption, there is need to invest in awareness campaigns to strengthen the current knowledge levels among the study population. This should positively influence the attitudes and perceptions towards increased consumption of forest foods.