Nutrition knowledge, attitude, and behavior of Taiwanese elementary school children.

Department of Food, Health and Nutrition Science, Chinese Culture University, Yang Ming Shan, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 1.06). 02/2007; 16 Suppl 2:534-46.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to understand nutrition knowledge, attitude, and behavior in Taiwanese elementary school children, and the relationship of these various components. The results indicated that children's knowledge was fair in nutrition basics, but poor in 'the physiological function of nutrients', 'relationships between diet/nutrients and disease', and 'the daily serving requirement for different food groups'. Children in general valued the importance of nutrition, but they did not concern the health benefit of foods in food selections. Their dietary quality was not satisfactory, and the diet of most children did not meet the recommended serving requirements for milk, vegetable, fruit, and cereals and grains groups. Positive relationships were found among nutrition knowledge, attitude, caring- about-nutrition behavior and dietary quality score. The restraint or disinhibited eating behavior of 4th to 6th graders was not serious, but a large number of children already performed some self-controlling practices to avoid obesity, but not frequently. One fourth of the students skipped meals, especially breakfast, and one quarter of 4th to 6th graders prepared their own breakfast; which may have some impact on children's diet quality. A gap was found between nutrition knowledge, attitude and eating behavior, especially vegetable and fruit consumption, indicating that the attitude toward eating for health was not strong in this age group. Future nutrition education for school children should not only include food serving requirements of food groups, but also apply appropriate theories to improve the motivation for healthy eating.

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