Nutrition knowledge and food consumption: can nutrition knowledge change food behaviour?

School of Health Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 1.36). 02/2002; 11 Suppl 3:S579-85. DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-6047.11.supp3.7.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The status and explanatory role of nutrition knowledge is uncertain in public health nutrition. Much of the uncertainty about this area has been generated by conceptual confusion about the nature of knowledge and behaviours, and, nutrition knowledge and food behaviours in particular. So the paper describes several key concepts in some detail. The main argument is that 'nutrition knowledge' is a necessary but not sufficient factor for changes in consumers' food behaviours. Several classes of food behaviours and their causation are discussed. They are influenced by a number of environmental and intra-individual factors, including motivations. The interplay between motivational factors and information processing is important for nutrition promoters as is the distinction between declarative and procedural knowledge. Consideration of the domains of nutrition knowledge shows that their utility is likely to be related to consumers' and nutritionists' particular goals and viewpoints. A brief survey of the recent literature shows that the evidence for the influence of nutrition knowledge on food behaviours is mixed. Nevertheless, recent work suggests that nutrition knowledge may play a small but pivotal role in the adoption of healthier food habits. The implications of this overview for public health nutrition are: (i) We need to pay greater attention to the development of children's and adults' knowledge frameworks (schema building); (ii) There is a need for a renewed proactive role for the education sector; (iii) We need to take account of consumers' personal food goals and their acquisition of procedural knowledge which will enable them to attain their goals; (iv) Finally, much more research into the ways people learn and use food-related knowledge is required in the form of experimental interventions and longitudinal studies.


Available from: Anthony Worsley, Apr 17, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To examine if employees with higher nutrition knowledge have better diet quality and lower prevalence of hypertension.
    01/2015; 2:105-113. DOI:10.1016/j.pmedr.2014.11.008
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: High salt intake increases the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Given the role of knowledge as a determinant of food intake, this paper aims to review the current levels of salt knowledge and the association between salt knowledge and dietary salt intake and salt-related dietary practices in the general population. Twenty two studies were included in the review. In general, the studies showed consumers were able to identify the health risks associated with high salt intake. However, knowledge of recommended daily intakes, understanding of the relationships between salt and sodium and foods that contribute most salt to the diet were poor. Four of the five studies which examined the relationships between salt knowledge and salt-related dietary practices reported significant associations. Two important gaps in the current literature were identified. First, there is a need for a robustly validated tool to examine salt knowledge and its impact on salt intake. Second, a comprehensive salt knowledge assessment should include assessment of procedural, as well as declarative, knowledge.
    Nutrients 12/2014; 6(12):5534-5559. DOI:10.3390/nu6125534 · 3.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Overweight is an increasing health problem characterised as a higher than normal body weight due to an abnormal increase in body fat. Body weight adequacy is categorized by using body mass index (BMI), however other parameters such as fat mass (FM), waist circumference (Wci) or waist to hip ratio, are relevant. Ideally, body composition should be calculated initially to evaluate changes during a dietary intervention of weight loss. Hunger experience is another parameter to take into account. The aim of this study was to assess the improvement of weight and body composition through the use of food supplements to control hunger, with and without a hypocaloric diet prescription. 252 women who wanted to lose weight were recruited in the program and splitted into two groups and were monitored for 8 weeks. Anthropometric measures (weight, height, body mass index, fat mass, waist and hip circumference) were taken. The mean age was of 36.84±7.29 and most of them were within overweight or obesity values for BMI, FM, Wci and hip circumference. After 8 weeks, both groups got significant results, achieving not only weight loss but also reduction in body mass index, fat mass, and waist and hip circumferences. However, as expected, improvements were better in FS+diet than in FS group. There is a need to tackle overweight and obesity individually, taking into account the personal characteristics of the patient. Food supplements may be useful to manage hunger and professional individualised assessment is critical to succeed.