Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

Assessment of the dietary pattern and serum zinc concentrations of adults in Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State

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Peace Nkennaya Ugbonta corresponding author
Alphonsus C. Obi-Okaro
Nkiru N. Ezeama


Dietary pattern is a parameter that assesses the general profile of food and nutrient consumption which is characterized on the basis of the usual eating habits. This study was conducted to assess the dietary pattern and serum zinc concentrations of adults in Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State. To achieve this, a cross-sectional analytical study design was conducted on a designed questionnaire distributed amongst 252 respondents to collate data on their socio-demographic characteristics on age, sex, marital status, religion, occupation, and educational levels. Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) was also carried out to assess adults’ dietary patterns daily, weekly, sometimes and none, on some foods such as cereals, vegetables, legumes, milk & dairy, meat, fish & seafood, eggs, roots, and tubers. Serum zinc was conducted on 50 volunteered adults from the study area. Serum zinc levels present in the collected blood samples were analyzed with the aid of an Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). Data obtained was analyzed with the aid of SPSS software on mean, standard deviation, t-test, and ANOVA for the hypothesis. Serum zinc deficiency was defined as a zinc level of less than 46 ug/dl from a reference book. The mean concentrations of serum zinc of healthy adults conducted were recorded as male 49.566 ± 19.384, female 24.017±6.999, 38.025±24.862 (18-25years ), 37.305±18.263 (26-40years) and 39.294±19.446 (41-55years) respectively. The results revealed that serum zinc concentrations in the participating healthy adults were within the reference level of 46 ug/dl, and also statistically significant at a p-value of 0.01 for the alternate hypothesis. Also, the relationship test of association between dietary pattern and serum zinc concentration is statistically significant as their p-value was less than 0.05 (0.027). Also, the tests confer with the alternate hypothesis that the association between dietary pattern and serum zinc concentration of adults in Umuahia North LGA is statistically significant. This study, therefore, recommends that studies should be carried out in other areas where symptoms of zinc deficiency are evident.

dietary pattern, zinc deficiency, serum zinc concentration, micronutrient

Article Details

How to Cite
Ugbonta, P. N., Obi-Okaro, A. C., & Ezeama, N. N. (2023). Assessment of the dietary pattern and serum zinc concentrations of adults in Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State. Advances in Health and Behavior, 6, 253-262.


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