Acta Scientific Nutritional Health (ASNH)(ISSN: 2582-1423)

Research Article Volume 7 Issue 2

Assessing the Main Carbohydrate Energy Staple and Meal Frequency by Very Active Manual Workers (VAMW) in Nairobi, Kenya

Mwale, Mary Mabel

Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Kilimo House, Nairobi, Kenya

*Corresponding Author: Mwale, Mary Mabel, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Kilimo House, Nairobi, Kenya.

Received: December 23, 2022; Published: January 18, 2023


Manual workers expend high energy in the course of their work and have to learn to balance their energy intake with expenditure. The type of food they consume determine how long they can endure labour intensive work and the number of meals they consume per day to remain productive and nutritionally healthy in the long term. Studies on energy requirement for work productivity are limited. The objective of this study was to determine main carbohydrate staple and meal frequency by Very Active Manual Workers (VAMW) in Nairobi, compared to relatively moderately active groups Civil servants (CS) and University students (US). Questionnaires were administered to a total 322 respondent categorized into the three groups: VAMW, (CS) and US. Respondents were asked to state their main carbohydrate staple from a list of 5 commonly consumed foods in Kenya Ugali, rice, chapati, Irish potatoes, bananas, and “others” [foods such as Githeri (mixed maize and beans), cassava, spaghetti, noodles, Sweet potatoes, and bread, among many alternatives]; and the number of meals they consumed per day. Results indicated Ugali (Maize meal) was the main carbohydrate staple consumed by all respondent groups. The meal frequency per day by VAMW was higher compared to CS and US respondents. Only 9% of VAMW consumed two meals a day compared to 33% of CS and 45% of US that reported taking two meals or less per day. None of the VAMW reported skipping a meal or consuming one meal per day, unlike CS and US groups where 3% and 1% respectively skipped or consumed one meal per day. There was a significant difference between the numbers of meals taken per day by VAMW compared to moderately active groups, US and CS; F (0.05, 2,330) = 13.089, p < 0.0001. A pairwise comparison of meal frequency means, using Scheffé's test, indicated a significant difference in number of meals consumed by VAMW and CS, and between VAMW and US, but no significant difference between CS and US pair. Further Post hoc analysis revealed an effect size of 0.23, F (0.05, 2,329); and a final Power (1- err prob) of 0.97. Results indicate choice of main carbohydrate energy staple and meal frequency per day is an important factor in meeting the energy requirements for very active manual workers.

Keywords: “Ugali”; Main Carbohydrate Staple; Meal Frequency; Very Active Manual Workers


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Citation: Mwale, Mary Mabel. “Assessing the Main Carbohydrate Energy Staple and Meal Frequency by Very Active Manual Workers (VAMW) in Nairobi, Kenya".Acta Scientific Nutritional Health 7.2 (2023): 72-78.


Copyright: © 2023 Mwale, Mary Mabel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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