Prevalence of food taboo during pregnancy in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Shiferaw Gelchu Adola
Dessalegn Wirtu
Biftu Geda
Dawit Galgalo


Back Ground: Food taboos influence intake of vital nutrients which required for optimal maternal health and fetal development during pregnancy. Pregnancy is the most delicate stage of human life and targets of food taboos. Even though there are fewer studies conducted on food taboos during pregnancy, there is no pooled estimate among pregnant women in Ethiopia. The smaller studies reported the different prevalence of food taboos which were difficult to help health planning at a national level. Thus, this study was expected to provide a pooled prevalence of pregnancy related food taboos in Ethiopia.
Methods: The relevant studies were identified by manual and electronic data base searching method. Important information from the original studies was presented in a table and the quantitative results were presented in the forest plots. The Cochrane Q test and I2 test statistic were used to test heterogeneity across studies. The Pooled estimate of prevalence of food taboo was computed by a random effects model.
Results: 175 articles were identified; nine studies meet inclusion criteria. A random effect meta-analysis of the results from these nine studies was carried out to provide pooled prevalence of food taboo during pregnancy. Analysis showed, the pooled prevalence of food taboo among pregnant women in Ethiopia was 38.50 (95% CI = 24.33-52.67); a significant heterogeneity was observed among studies (I2 = 99%, p value <0.001). Subgroup analysis shows the highest prevalence of food taboo found in Somali region 67.38% and the lowest prevalence seen in Tigray 11.45% region.
Conclusion: This review found pooled estimate of food taboo during pregnancy in Ethiopia. Variation in the magnitude of pregnancy related food restriction was seen across the regions. Therefore, integrating nutrition education with the basic antenatal care program was recommended in all regions of Ethiopia to prevent nutritional deficiencies associated with food taboo.




How to Cite
Adola, S. G., Wirtu, D., Geda, B., & Galgalo, D. (2023). Prevalence of food taboo during pregnancy in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Research Journal in Medical and Health Sciences, 4(1).

How to Cite

Adola, S. G., Wirtu, D., Geda, B., & Galgalo, D. (2023). Prevalence of food taboo during pregnancy in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Research Journal in Medical and Health Sciences, 4(1).


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