Relation of Nutritional Status, Diet Quality and Socio Economic Factors among Female Factory Workers at Hlaing Thar Yar Industrial Zone in Myanmar

1DepartmentNutrition and Dietetics,STI University Myanmar/Bedfordshire University (UK), Yangon, Myanmar

2 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Defense Service Medical Academy, Yangon, Myanmar

3 Nutrition Research Division, Department of Medical Research,Yangon, Myanmar

When industrialization occurred, rural people migrated to urban area for job opportunities and 87% of these workers in the industrial zone were women. The nutritional status of reproductive age females was measured in the Myanmar Health Demographic Survey (MHDS) but there was no specific data about this vulnerable population. Therefore, this study will fill the gap to determine factors affecting nutritional status of female garment factory workers. This study was a cross sectional study which included 184 female garment factory workers. Their nutritional status was measured by BMI, MUAC, WC and WHR where BMI was defined as the outcome variable. Diet quality was measured by minimum dietary diversity for women (MDD-W) (≥ five food groups). MDD-W was divided into ten food groups and score was computed from 24-hour recall data. Then, household (HH) food security was accessed by Coping Strategy Index (CSI). Ten questions were developed for food coping strategy and categorized into degree of severity. CSI score was the total score result from multiplication of frequency and severity of these ten questions. Chi square, independent sample t test and ANOVA were used to find out relation of categorical, nominal and continuous data. As a result, mean BMI of female factory workers was 21 ± 4. BMI result indicated that 27.2% were underweight women and 24.5% were overweight women in which 12 % were at risk of obesity and 8.7% were obese grade I and 3.8 % were obese grade II. MUAC showed 16.3% suffered acute malnutrition and only 10 women were high in WC and 6 women were high in WHR. Ninety percent of the women did not consume enough micronutrients although CSI score was good (mean 7 ± 9). Socio economic factors, age, marital status, total number of meal per day, number of skipped meal were associated with anthropometry and diet quality. However, anthropometric measurements were not significantly associated with diet quality. To conclude, female garment factory workers were high risk of under and over nutrition and deficient micronutrient intake. Therefore, nutrition education, behavior change programs and national policy driven social programs were essential to support their wellbeing in this group.