200030 Discovering indigenous food practices of Bangladeshi families through photovoice

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:00 PM

Hendrika Maltby, PhD, RN , Nursing, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Mohammed Omar Rahman, MD, MPH, DSc , & Centre for Health, Population & Development, Independent University, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Rita Yusuf, PhD , Independent University, Bangladesh, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Child malnutrition in Bangladesh remains among the highest in the world, and is exacerbated by a lack of knowledge among child caregivers. A nutrition education project in rural Bangladesh to mothers has shown to be effective in preventing growth faltering in children without food supplementation. Most programs target mothers, however, rather than girls prior to marriage. A countrywide BRAC adolescent nutrition program is providing supplementary food and nutrition education to their students; the Government school students are ignored. Bangladeshi girls are enrolling in secondary schools in increasing numbers and staying in school longer. Therefore, purpose of this project is to focus on nutrition education of pre-marital girls to decrease vulnerability to malnutrition before they are pregnant. Food preparation and habits are culture specific. To develop any nutrition program, it is important to first complete an anthropological exploration of food behavior. Photovoice, a community-based participatory research method, is a photographic technique that enables people to record and reflect their community's strengths and issues leading to discussion and policy considerations. Following permission from the head-mistress, five high school girls were given a digital camera to photograph their families' nutrition. After training and discussion about the project, the girls returned with at least 50 photographs each. Using a portable photo-printer and an interpreter, each girl told her story. Preliminary data analysis is providing indigenous beliefs, practices, and knowledge of food preparation and habits of these families. These stories will be the basis of a future nutrition program at the Government high school.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the importance of nutrition education for high school girls in Bangladesh; 2. Evaluate the photovoice technique for program development; 3. Describe indigenous beliefs, practices, and knowledge of food preparation and habits of families in Manikganj, Bangladesh.

Keywords: Nutrition, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PI on the research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.