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Appetite. 2003 Aug;41(1):51-9.

Food neophobia and associations with cultural diversity and socio-economic status amongst rural and urban Australian adolescents.

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Consumer Science Program, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Health Sciences and Nutrition, PO Box 10041, Adelaide BC, SA 5000, Australia.


Exposure to diverse cultures and higher socio-economic status (SES) may increase knowledge of a wide variety of stimuli, including food, and be negatively associated with food neophobia. We contrasted questionnaire responses from two groups of Australian high school students (aged 12-18 years) from remote rural (rural, n=243) and cosmopolitan urban (city, n=696) locations to the food neophobia scale (FNS), familiarity with certain foods and willingness to try those foods. Cultural diversity measures and two SES scales were created. City students were less food neophobic than rural students (mean FNS scores 29.35 versus 34.68, p<0.001). City students were also significantly more familiar with different foods and more willing to try unfamiliar foods, were of higher SES and had greater exposure to cultural diversity. However, the association between the FNS and familiarity with foods, willingness to try unfamiliar foods, SES, and exposure to cultural diversity, were only weak or moderate for both city and rural students. Greater exposure to cultural diversity and higher SES has some influence on adolescents' responses to unfamiliar foods, but the relationship between these factors and the FNS score is tenuous.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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