The objective of the study is to assess the food habits of the patients admitted in Ayub Teaching Hospital Complex Abbottabad (ATHC)
One hundred adult patients admitted in ATHC were enrolled as subjects of study, randomly selecting 2-3 patients per day over a period of two months i.e. March, April 2001. A pretested questionnaire was used to collect the data from the subjects. The information obtained in local language was translated into English and was tabulated afterwards. EPI-INFO software was used to analyze the data.
The results showed that 63% subjects were totally ignorant about the knowledge of balanced diet. Awareness about food items and their contribution to human nutrition was not that discouraging as 57% respondents were aware of the role of diet rich in fats in daily life and 68% were aware about the role of Carbohydrates. Chapatti was staple diet, used by 66%. 43% were not in the habit of using milk, 42% had meat once in a week, 44% used chicken on alternative days, 46% never had cold drinks, 64% took tea twice a day. Information about drinking water showed that 31% were using water from wells, 48% from tap water supply and 21% from springs. 73% subjects were of opinion that food has no relation with the disease. 52% have changed their diet in hospital of which 35% have done it on doctor’s advice. Source of nutrition awareness showed that 57% respondents were habitual of watching television out of which 43% had received such messages from TV.
It is concluded that food habits in terms of balanced diet is not appreciating due to low socio-economic and educational levels. So, special campaign is needed to adopt the method of obtaining cheap proteins. Radio television and hospital-based campaign can play an important role in achieving this goal