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Keywords: Ramadhan Fasting , Blood Glucose , Iron Status , Fitness , Productivity

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This study evaluated changes in nutrient intake of female labourers during Ramadhan fasting, in relation to the changes in iron status and blood glucose level which may affect fitness and productivity. A total of 40 female labourers were randomly chosen from 200 sample population, with the criteria: Hb value >12 g%, not lactating or pregnant, nor had metabolic disorders. They had to follow the research agenda and had to fast during the Ramadhan month, 1417 H, except when they were in menstruation period. Data on food intakes, blood component, fitness, and total patch clothes sown were collected a week before, the first and third week during Ramadhan, and a month after Lebaran. Hemoglobin and hematocrite as indicators of iron status were determined. Average energy intake before fasting month was 142% of the RDA, while during the fasting month it was 124%. Most of the labourers used to have breakfast daily, which has an averages of 30% of their total daily intake. During fasting they had 40% of total energy intake from early breakfast (makan sahur). There were decrease in energy and vegetable protein but increase in animal protein, vitamin C, and iron consumption. Glucose level and iron status were decreased but did not cause hypoglycemia nor anemia. Productivity and fitness improved during the fasting month. Total patches sown as productivity indicator were increased by 17% during morning, but decreased by 10% during afternoon sessions. Fitness improved by one level, from low to average. This study concluded that energy intakes of female labourers were lower, but fitness and productivity were better during the fasting month.


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