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J Epidemiol. 2017 Oct;27(10):483-491. doi: 10.1016/j.je.2016.09.014. Epub 2017 May 30.

Relationship between nutrition knowledge and dietary intake among primary school children in Japan: Combined effect of children's and their guardians' knowledge.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Medicine, Toho University, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Social and Preventive Epidemiology, School of Public Health, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. Electronic address: JZF01334@nifty.ne.jp.
2
Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.
3
Department of Social and Preventive Epidemiology, School of Public Health, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Improving the dietary habits of children is important to decrease the future burden of noncommunicable diseases. While various food education programs have been implemented worldwide, evaluation of nutrition knowledge is difficult, even at baseline. Further, the relationship between nutrition knowledge and dietary intake has not been clarified in non-western countries.

METHODS:

After developing nutrition knowledge questionnaires for Japanese primary school children and adults, we examined whether higher nutrition knowledge of children and their guardians was associated with better dietary intake in children. A total of 1210 children in four public primary schools and 319 guardians were included in this cross-sectional study.

RESULTS:

Nutrition knowledge questionnaires were developed for children in lower and higher grades and adults. Higher nutrition knowledge of the children was significantly associated with higher vegetable intake (p for trend = 0.024 for boys and <0.0001 for girls in lower grades, <0.0001 for boys and 0.020 for girls in higher grades). Higher nutrition knowledge of the guardians was also associated with higher vegetable intake, except for boys in higher grades. The relationship between guardians' nutrition knowledge and intake of staple foods and fruits in children differed by children's sex.

CONCLUSIONS:

We developed nutrition knowledge questionnaires for Japanese children and adults and identified a relationship between higher nutrition knowledge and healthier dietary habits. The child's own nutrition knowledge of dietary intake might be as important as that of the guardian for some foods. Sex differences in the effect of nutrition knowledge should receive greater attention in food education.

KEYWORDS:

Dietary intake; Guardian; Japan; Nutrition knowledge questionnaire; Primary school child

PMID:
28576447
PMCID:
PMC5602805
DOI:
10.1016/j.je.2016.09.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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