Open Access Research article

Inadequacy of nutrients intake among pregnant women in the Deep South of Thailand

Phnom Sukchan1*, Tippawan Liabsuetrakul2, Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong2, Praneed Songwathana3, Vosasit Sornsrivichai2 and Metta Kuning4

Author Affiliations

1 Development of Health Strategy Unit, Narathiwat Provincial Public Health Office, Narathiwat 96000, Thailand

2 Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112, Thailand

3 Nursing Faculty, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112, Thailand

4 Faculty of science, Prince of Songkla University, Pattani campus, Pattani 94000, Thailand

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:572  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-572

Published: 24 September 2010



The deep south of Thailand is an area which has been affected by violence since 2004, yet the concurrent coverage of antenatal care has remained at over 90%. Our study aimed to describe the prevalence of nutrient inadequacy among pregnant women who attended antenatal care clinics in hospitals in the study area and assess factors associated with nutrient inadequacy.


Pregnant women from four participating hospitals located in lower southern Thailand were surveyed during January-December 2008. Nutrient intake was estimated based on information provided by the women on the amount, type and frequency of various foods eaten. Logistic regression was used to assess individual and community factors associated with inadequate nutrient intake, defined as less than two thirds of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).


The prevalence of carbohydrate, protein, fat, calories, calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, retinol, niacin, vitamin C, folic acid and iodine inadequacy was 86.8%, 59.2%, 78.0%, 83.5%, 55.0%, 29.5%, 45.2%, 85.0%, 19.2%, 3.8%, 43.2%, 0.8%, 0.0% and 0.8%, respectively. Maternal age, education level, gestational age at enrolment and pre-pregnancy body mass index and level of violence in the district were significantly associated with inadequacy of carbohydrate, protein, phosphorus, iron, thiamine and niacin intake.


Nutrient intake inadequacy among pregnant women was common in this area. Increasing levels of violence was associated with nutrient inadequacy in addition to individual factors.