An assessment and comparison of dietary intake of miners: a case study of a South African mine

Mhango, Rachael Matirasa
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Introduction: The study was an analysis and comparison of the dietary intake of hostel and non-hostel miners using the 24-Hour Dietary Recall Method and the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) at the Rustenburg Platinum Mine. Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the adequacy and compare the dietary intake of Hostel and Non-hostel miners at a platinum mine in Rustenburg. Furthermore, the study compared the dietary intake of miners and contrasted their Body Mass Index (BMI). Miners’ food habits, Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) with respect to nutrition were also evaluated. Methodology: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study. The study consisted of 100 black male miners working at the Platinum Mine in Rustenburg in North West Province. These miners mainly carried out underground jobs. The study used quantitative data to assess miners’ nutritional status, food habits, KAP with regards to nutrition and the 24-Hour Dietary Recall Method. A convenience sample was selected within each group of miners from 5,254 miners. Each sample consisted of 50 miners (50 living in mine hostels and 50 living outside mine hostels) each group representing the two different feeding schemes at the mine. Results: The results showed that the mean energy intake of hostel miners (8,972.3kJ) and non-hostel (8,361.6kJ) miners was below the recommended mean energy intake of 12000kJ for men doing light to moderate work. The miners did meet the protein requirement for the prudent dietary guideline of 15% energy. In Addition, the energy intake from total fat for hostel and non-hostel miners was higher than the prudent dietary guideline of not more than 30% energy. The mean Saturated Fatty Acid (SFA) intake for the miners was higher than the recommended value of < 10% energy. The mean dietary cholesterol intake for miners was below therecommended value of <300mg/day. Furthermore, miners did not meet the Page | iv recommended carbohydrate intake of 55+ % energy. Dietary fibre intake of 2g was below the recommended prudent dietary reference intake of 30g/day. Overall vitamin intakes for both hostel and non-hostel miners were below the dietary reference intakes with the exception of niacin and vitamin B12 which met the requirements for both hostel and non-hostel miners. The mean minerals intakes were below the dietary reference intakes for the miners. Miners’ fluid intakes were below recommended intakes. The BMIs of miners showed that the majority of miners (70%) were overweight and obese. This could be attributed to miners’ high muscle mass because of their hard-physical work. The BMI comprises of both muscle and fat. A chi-square test showed that there difference in the BMIs of both hostel and Non-hostel miners was not significant ((3, N=100) =3.62, p = 0.3055). Eating habits during working hours revealed that seventy percent of the miners did not take anything to eat to work. However, sixty-eight percent of the miners always ate before going on shift duty. Forty percent of miners were always hungry during their shift duty. Miners’ knowledge regarding nutrition showed that they had limited knowledge of what a balanced diet was.Conclusion: The low mean energy, macronutrient and micronutrient intakes for hostel and non-hostel miners could be attributed to under-reporting using the 24-Hour Dietary Recall Method, and therefore may require further analyses of the data for confirmation. However, miners needed to reduce their fat intakes to meet the prudent dietary guidelines for fat intake. The dangers of high fat diets are well documented in a number of studies showing that fat diets have been associated with chronic diseases of life style such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity and certain cancers.
A research project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Public Health to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2020