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Appetite. 2008 Mar-May;50(2-3):408-14. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

Measuring willingness to try new foods: a self-report questionnaire for French-speaking children.

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Department of psychology, University of Paris-X at Nanterre, 200 Avenue de la République, 92000 Nanterre, France.


The study was designed to develop and validate a self-report questionnaire on food neophobia in French children. We evaluated food neophobia in a specific cultural context, examining an age group that has hardly been studied (5- to 8-year-olds). The questionnaire items were based on methods known for changing neophobic behavior (imitation, information, flavor principle and external stimulation) in order to diversify food presentation situations. In addition, we used colored pictures of food for seven items. Thirteen items that referred to acceptance of unfamiliar food were selected out of 25 items tested in an earlier stage. Six hundred and three children filled out the food neophobia questionnaire and a food task used to check its predictive validity was given to 503 of them. A factor analysis emphasized the one-dimensional structure of the questionnaire. Results showed satisfactory internal consistency and good test-retest reliability. The children's choices and their willingness to try new types of food were significantly correlated with the questionnaire scores. Food neophobia conceived as a personality trait was discussed.

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