In Nigeria today with the level of exposure and improvement in knowledge of health, food and nutrition, there have being series of studies on the nutritional problems facing the physically challenged individual (Benton, 2009).
Nutrition is usually considered to be important for physical health but mental health must be taken as equally important. Research in the field has shown that nutrition is one of many factors that potentially influence a child’s development besides genetic, socio-economic, environmental and behavioural factors (Associate Parliamentary & Health, 2008; Bryan et al., 2004). Understanding the relationship between nutrition and mental performance in children is important regarding their attainment and productivity both in school and in later life (Alderman, Behrman, Lavy, & Menon, 1997; Florence, Asbridge, & Veugelers, 2008). To date, there is a growing body of evidence that diet might influence the development and functioning of the brain which in turn has an effect on mental performance as a functional outcome, especially when the brain is still developing during childhood and early adolescence (Benton, 2008a).
A diet containing too many ingredients that are detrimental in excess or lacking essential nutrients is likely to have adverse consequences for mental outcomes (Associate Parliamentary & Health, 2008) whereas a balanced diet is important for physical wellbeing and mental health, with implications for school performance (Associate Parliamentary & Health, 2008; Florence et al., 2008). Thus, children should have a varied diet with good nutritional content and regular intake to ensure the best possible cognitive development and performance (Bellisle, 2004). Since parents are seen as gate keepers to a child’s diet and provide the key environment for the development of a child’s eating behaviours (Birch & Davison, 2008; K. A. Brown, Ogden, Vogele, & Gibson, 2008), they constitute an important group of consumers for nutritional communication through policies, public health intervention programmes as well as through health claims on functional food products. Parents influence all aspects of a child’s life to some degree including the development of food choices as well as controlling the availability and types of food in the home (R. Brown & Ogden, 2004; Golan & Crow, 2004). Moreover, parents’ own eating behaviours influence those of their children (Birch & Davison, 2005) and thus the family provides a key environment for young children to learn and develop eating habits and food preferences. As children grow and attend school other people such as peers and teachers become more important influences (Perez-Rodrigo & Aranceta, 2006) and children gradually become more independent of their parents. The family is seen as one of the major contexts of a child’s development which includes cognitive development and achievement (Scott-Jones, 2004).
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
The growth rate of disabilities in Nigeria has increased overtime; some of the identified reasons for disabilities could be as a result of parents’ exposure to radio-active sources, it could be as a result of taking drugs without consulting a physician. Others might be as a result of accident. All of the above issues that may cause disabilities among individuals may deprive or cause nutritional problems for the physically challenged individuals. Secondly there have been series of studies on nutritional problems but not even a single study has been carried out on the nutritional problems of physically challenged individuals in Nigeria.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main of the research work is to examine the nutritional problems of physically challenged individual. Other specific objectives of study are:
1. to determine the extent to which neglect and isolation influence the nutritional intake of physically challenged individual
2. to determine the effect of family background on proper feeding among the physically challenged individual
3. to gain an insight into the control of the problem affecting the physically control individual
4. to proffer solution to the above stated problems
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives of the study. The research questions for the study are:
1. To what extent do neglect and isolation influence the nutritional intake of physically challenged individual?
2. What is the effect of family background on proper feeding among the physically challenged individual?
3. In what ways can the problems affecting the physically challenged individuals be controlled?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: neglect and isolation do not influence the nutritional intake of physically challenged individual
H1: neglect and isolation influence the nutritional intake of physically challenged individual
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on nutritional problems of physically challenged individual will be of immense benefit to the physically challenged individuals in Nigeria, the ministry of health and other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic as the findings of the study will educate the above population on nutrition, nutritional challenges and the nutritional problems of physically challenged individual. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge in this field of study and provide a basis for further research
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on nutritional problems of physically challenged individual will cover on nutrition, nutritional challenges and the nutritional problems of physically challenged individual will cover from 2000-2016
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Balance diet: It is the diet that contains the six class of food taken in a right proportion.
Unbalance diet: It is the diet that those not contains the six classes of food.
WHO: World Health Organization
Poor Nutrition: The deficiency intake of food nutrient by the body.
Marasmus: A condition result from taking food that is very low in calorific value.
Calorific Value: Nutrient value.
Nutrition: the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth
Physically challenged: lack of adequate strength or physical or mental ability