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Appetite. 2010 Feb;54(1):44-51. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.09.005. Epub 2009 Sep 12.

Young children's dietary habits and associations with the mothers' nutritional knowledge and attitudes.

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Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO), Belgium.


The study investigates the dietary habits of Flemish preschoolers and associations of these habits with both sociodemographic characteristics and the mother's nutritional knowledge and attitudes. A sample of 862 parents of preschoolers from 56 schools completed a questionnaire including sociodemographic characteristics, a food-frequency questionnaire to assess children's dietary intake, and a nutritional knowledge-and-attitude questionnaire. Regression analysis showed a lower dietary adequacy in children of mothers with low and medium level of education, medium-ranked occupation, and lower levels of both nutritional knowledge and food-related health attitude. The highest excess score (representing items that should be avoided or moderated) was found in children of mothers with low education level, without a job, with three or more children, of age less than 30 years, and possessing lower levels of nutritional knowledge and attitude scores for health and taste. The associations of the dietary adequacy and excess scores with sociodemographic background can help practitioners to develop better-tailored nutrition interventions. The associations with the mothers' nutritional knowledge and attitudes support the inclusion of knowledge and attitudes in dietary interventions.

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