Background: Osteoporosis is an important public health problem. The aim of this study was to investigate food habits and some factors related to osteoporosis in women in Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 399 childbearing age women who were attending health centers and 200 healthcare providers in 2007. Food habits and dietary calcium intake was evaluated by food frequency questionnaire and 24-hour recall method. Weight and height of subjects were also measured. Independent t-test, Mann-withney U test, Pearson, Spearman and Partial correlation coefficient tests were used for analyzing of data.
Results: Two groups of women had calcium intake deficiency. Daily frequency of milk, cheese, fruit and coffee consumptions in healthcare providers (0.82±0.82, 0.94±0.49, 2.01±1.28 and 0.84±2.05, P<0.02) were significantly higher than those of women attending health centers(0.58±0.72, 0.84±0.32, 1.50±0.99 and 0.48±1.25). Mean frequency use of dark vegetables, cola and pickles were significantly (P<0.004) higher in women who attending health centers (0.67±0.50, 1.55±2.36 and 1.92±2.03) than those of the other group (0.50±0.44, 1.09±2.65 and 1.49±1.72). In women who were attending health centers, negative and positive significant relationship was found between daily calcium intake with age (P<0.04) and educational level (P<0.001). No significant relationship was found between body mass index with studied variables.
Conclusion: Women of health care providers had healthier food habits compared to women who attending health centers. Educational programs are suggested to improve food habits among women to prevent osteoporosis in later life.