An evaluation of knowledge and current trends of omega-3 (n-3) supplementation in parents of children at public primary schools in the City of Cape Town

Pentz-Kluyts, Megan (2013-03)

Thesis (MNutr)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Background: Omega-3 fatty acids and supplementation is very topical, attracting both public and interest from the industry. Findings from various research studies led a number of authorities to encourage the general population to consume more omega-3. This is the first study of its kind to be conducted in this population. Objective: To determine the current knowledge and trends of omega-3 (n-3) supplementation in parents of children at public primary schools in the City of Cape Town. Design: An observational and analytical and descriptive and cross-sectional study was performed. Methods: Purposive sampling was used to select a minimum of 150 parents from the six (6) randomly selected public primary schools. The schools were then divided into three different living standard measure (LSM) groups. The research questionnaire was made available at the Parent Teachers meetings where all parents had the option to complete the questionnaire anonymously at the meeting. Results: Six hundred and fifty seven (n=657) parents, mostly mothers, with a mean age of 37 years, completed and returned the questionnaires. The mean monthly income (p=0.00, SD=2.63) and the education level (p=0.00, SD=1.37) differed significantly between each of the three LSM groups. Prior to the study, 80.1% of parents (n=526) had heard of omega-3 supplements and overall knowledge of omega-3 was significantly better in this group (p=0.00) when compared to the group that had not heard of omega-3 previously. The overall mean omega-3 knowledge score for the three LSM groups (n=657) was 71%. The high and low LSM groups differed significantly in terms of omega-3 knowledge (p=0.02), but not statistically significantly once adjusted for income and education level (p=0.75). The main sources of information, where all parents (n=526) indicated having heard of omega-3 supplements, was from television (n = 230, 35%), books (n= 220, 33.5%) and the health worker (n=199, 30.3%). A total of 38.5% (n=253) of parents indicated that they gave their children omega-3 supplements. The overall omega-3 knowledge was significantly better (p=0.00) in parents who gave their children omega-3 supplements than the group that did not give supplements to their children. Income and the education level differed between all three LSM groups for those giving their children omega-3 supplements, but these variables did not influence the choice to give omega-3 supplements. Doctors (n=58, 22.9%) and the parents’ own decision (n=60, 23.7%) to supplement were the most favoured sources of recommendation indicated overall. Most parents indicated that the omega-3 supplement they administered was from a marine source (n=105, 41.5%). Only 35.2% (n=89) of parents giving omega-3 supplements indicated they knew the dose they were administering. Most of the children (n=90) were taking 500 mg omega-3 supplements daily. Conclusions and Recommendations: Statistically significant differences existed between the three LSM groups regarding various aspects of omega-3 knowledge and the sources from which parents had been informed and those who gave their children omega-3 supplements. Recommendations include education and public health programs supplying information to parents on omega-3 supplementation, as well as on omega-3 in the children’s diets.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Agtergrond: Omega-3 vetsure en supplementasie is ‘n baie aktuele onderwerp, wat beide die belangstelling van die publiek en industrie betrek. Bevindinge van verskeie navorsingstudies het daartoe gelei dat verskeie instansies die algemene publiek aanmoedig om meer omega-3 in te neem. Dit is die eerste studie van sy soort wat in dié populasie groep gedoen is. Doelwit: Om die huidige kennis en tendensies/neigings in omega-3(n-3) supplementasie in ouers van kinders by publieke laerskole in die stad Kaapstad te bepaal. Ontwerp:’n Waarnemende- en en analitiese en beskrywende- dwarsdeursnitstudie is gedoen. Metode: Daar is gebruik gemaak van ‘n doelgerigte steekproefneming om ‘n minimum van 150 ouers uit ses (6) ewekansig geseleteerde publieke laerskole van uit te kies. Die skole is in drie verskillende lewenstandaardgroepe (LSM) verdeel. Die navorsingsvraelys is by ‘n Ouer-Onderwyservergadering beskikbaar gestel en alle ouers het ‘n geleentheid gehad om die vraelys anoniem by die vergadering te voltooi. Resultate: Seshonderd sewe-en-vyftig (n=657) ouers, meestel moeders, met ‘n gemiddelde ouderdom van 37 jaar, het die vraelyste voltooi en teruggegee. Die gemiddelde maandlikse inkomste (p=0.00, SD=2.63) en vlak van opvoeding (p=0.00, SD=1.37) het noemensvaardig tussen elk van die drie LSM groepe verskil. Voor die studie het 80.1% van die ouers (n=526) al van omega-3 supplemente gehoor en die algehele kennis van die groep was beduidend beter (p=0.00) as die groep wat voorheen nie van omega-3 gehoor het nie. Die gemiddelde algehele omega-3 kennistelling vir die drie LSM groepe was 71%. Die hoë en lae LSM groepe het beduidend ten opsigte van omega-3 kennis (p=0.02) verskil, maar nie statisties- beduidend wanneer dit vir inkomste en opvoedingsvlak (p=0.75) aangepas is nie. Die hoofbronne van inligting waar al die ouers (n=526) wat aangedui het dat hulle van omega-3 supplementasie gehoor het, was deur televisie (n=230, 35%), boeke (n=220, 33.5%) en die gesondheidswerker (n=199, 30.3%). ‘n Totaal van 38.5% (n=253) ouers het aangedui dat hulle hul kinders omega-3 supplemente gee. Die algehele omega-3 kennis van ouers wie hulle kinders omega-3 supplemente gee was statisties beduidend beter (p=0.00) in vergelyking met die groep wat nie supplemente vir hulle kinders gee nie. Die inkomste en opvoedingsvlak het verskil tussen all drie LSM groepe wat hulle kinders omega-3 supplementasie gegee het, maar hierdie veranderlikes het nie die keuse om omega-3 supplemente te gee beïnvloed nie. Mediese dokters (n=58, 22.9%) en die ouer se eie besluit (n=60 23.7%) om te supplementeer, was die gunsteling bronne van aanbeveling in die algemeen. Die meeste ouers het aangedui dat die omega-3 supplement wat hulle gegee het van ‘n visbron afkomstig (n=105, 41.5%) is. Net 35.2% (n=89) van die ouers wat omega-3 supplemente gee het aangedui dat hulle die dosis kenwat hulle gee. Meeste van die kinders (n=90) het 500mg omega-3 supplemente daagliks gekry. Gevolgtrekking en aanbevelings: Statistiese beduidende verskille is tussen die drie LSM groepe ten opsigte van verskeie aspekte van omega-3 kennis en bronne waaruit ouers ingelig is, sowel as die ouers wie hulle kinders omega-3 supplemente gegee het, gevind. Aanbevelings sluit opvoeding en publieke gesondheidsprogramme in, wat inligting aan ouers sal verskaf oor omega-3 supplementasie sowel as omega-3 in die kinders se diëte.

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