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Health Promot J Austr. 2018 Apr;29(1):93-99. doi: 10.1002/hpja.6. Epub 2018 Jan 3.

Nutrition "fat facts" are not common knowledge.

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School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
School of Biochemical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.



Individuals who are knowledgeable about nutrition are more likely to eat healthily. Yet, few studies have investigated levels of nutrition knowledge using a validated tool. The present study measured nutrition knowledge using the Re-examined General Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire (R-GNKQ) to confirm influencing demographic characteristics.


Adults aged 18-60 years were recruited. Nutrition knowledge was assessed using the R-GNKQ, examining four domains (dietary guidelines, sources of nutrients, choosing everyday foods, and diet-disease relationships) with 96 questions.


Of 606 respondents (mean age 38.8 ± 11.8 years), 506 completed all questions. R-GNKQ score was positively associated with education (p<0.001) and age (p<0.001). Those with the highest education levels scored higher across 89% of the R-GNKQ and the oldest (≥50 years) respondents scored higher than younger respondents. Other characteristics that were associated with higher levels of knowledge were being female, and having a healthy BMI. Lowest knowledge pertained to questions about diet-disease relationships and fatty acids in foods.


The majority of individuals had a good understanding about the Australian Dietary Guidelines, however the health benefits of adhering to the dietary guidelines was less well understood. Gaps in knowledge pertained to the specific details of how to adhere to the guidelines, particularly knowledge about the types of beneficial fats and their everyday food sources. SO WHAT?: Those with lower educational attainment, younger, males and those with higher BMI's would benefit from nutrition communications that identify foods with beneficial fatty acids to assist with adherence to the Australian Dietary Guidelines.


health behaviours; health education; nutrition

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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