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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2013

Stojan Kostanjevec, Janez Jerman and Verena Koch

Children's eating habits are influenced by numerous social and individual factors. The present study aimed to evaluate the connection between nutrition knowledge of…

1140

Abstract

Purpose

Children's eating habits are influenced by numerous social and individual factors. The present study aimed to evaluate the connection between nutrition knowledge of children and their eating habits as well as their attitudes towards healthy eating habits.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study included 630 11-year-old children from 27 randomly selected Slovenian schools. During the research, children attended the sixth grade of the nine-year elementary school and on average were subject to 38.6 h of mandatory nutritional contents, which are planned in the curriculum of home economics. At the end of the school year, nutrition knowledge was checked with a knowledge test consisting of 27 questions. Considering the achieved results, children were classified into three knowledge categories: low, fairly good, and good nutrition knowledge. Children's eating habits were assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire, while the five-degree Likert scale was used to assess their attitudes to healthy eating habits. Differences in children's eating habits and attitudes in reference to the category of knowledge were determined through analysis of variance.

Findings

The results demonstrated that children with better nutrition knowledge have healthier eating habits and a more positive attitude towards them than children with poor nutrition knowledge.

Originality/value

The study results demonstrate the link between children's nutrition knowledge and attitudes on the one hand and eating habits on the other which justifies the importance of providing formal and informal nutrition education to children.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 43 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2014

Edward Bbaale

The debate concerning the relationship between maternal education and child nutritional status is not a foregone conclusion. This paper aims to contribute to the existing…

Abstract

Purpose

The debate concerning the relationship between maternal education and child nutritional status is not a foregone conclusion. This paper aims to contribute to the existing debate by examining this relationship for the case of Uganda.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretically, the study was based on household models of optimization, just like in the standard consumer theory, to gain insights into household demand for the health good. Empirically, the paper employed maximum-likelihood probit models and computed marginal effects in order to obtain logically interpretable results.

Findings

The paper finds that once the socio-economic factors are controlled for, the significance of maternal education, especially primary and secondary levels, in influencing child nutrition status decays but post-secondary education persists. Therefore, if mothers are exposed to the same socio-economic conditions, it is education of the mother beyond secondary level that generates a difference in the child nutrition outcomes.

Practical implications

These findings suggest that efforts to improve the child health outcomes in the future need to target measures that aim to educate women beyond secondary level. The government program to extend free education at the secondary level is a good start and should be strengthened.

Originality/value

Literature presents no consensus on the effect of maternal education and child nutritional status. It is often argued that maternal education is simply a proxy for the socio-economic conditions and geographical area of residence such its significance decays once these are controlled for. Yet others argue that maternal education is a single most important factor influencing child nutritional outcomes. The debate is still very hot and this study sought to contribute to this debate for the case of Uganda.

Details

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-0705

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Stefania Velardo and Murray Drummond

Health literacy is a key international public health goal. Conceptualising health literacy as an asset highlights the importance of fostering a health literate youth for…

1343

Abstract

Purpose

Health literacy is a key international public health goal. Conceptualising health literacy as an asset highlights the importance of fostering a health literate youth for the benefit of future generations, yet research has predominantly focused on examining adults’ and older adolescents’ health literacy. This presents a gap for child-centred studies with younger populations. The purpose of this paper is to report the findings from a qualitative study that explored health literacy, in a nutrition context (i.e. nutrition literacy), from primary school children’s perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examined children’s experiences in accessing, understanding and interacting with nutrition information. In doing so, the research employed a socio-ecological framework to understand facilitators and barriers that can influence children’s nutrition literacy. Preadolescent boys and girls aged 11–12 years were invited to take part in the study. At the time of recruitment, students were attending one of three state government schools in a socioeconomically disadvantaged region of metropolitan South Australia. A series of focus groups and individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 38 participants. Interview data were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic techniques.

Findings

Children demonstrated that they accessed and interacted with a variety of sources of nutrition information. Nutrition understandings were derived from the home, school and media environments. Parents and teachers were cited as key influences on children’s interactions with nutrition information and children particularly emphasised the trust placed in their teachers as health “experts.” While the home and school environments emerged as potential settings to develop children’s nutrition literacy skills, the children’s narratives also alluded to potential barriers surrounding nutrition literacy.

Originality/value

This study provides further insight into children’s nutrition literacy. While functional nutrition literacy remains a fundamental starting point, children are interested in opportunities to develop more interactive skills, such as those related to cooking. Opportunities also exist to foster more critical competencies. This research thereby highlights the importance of more integrated strategies to promote nutrition literacy among this population group across multiple settings.

Details

Health Education, vol. 119 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Nancy Cotugna and Connie E. Vickery

The purpose of the Nutrition Education Students and Teachers (NEST) project was to develop a model of collaboration between University of Delaware dietetics students and…

2487

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the Nutrition Education Students and Teachers (NEST) project was to develop a model of collaboration between University of Delaware dietetics students and elementary teachers to promote nutrition education in the classroom.

Design/methodology/approach

Junior and senior level students in a nutrition education course developed nutrition lessons with input from the school teachers on using age‐ and developmentally‐appropriate methods. Actual presentations to 55 elementary children were conducted in a health/science fair format. Written evaluations were completed by all involved in the project.

Findings

The university students developed competency in teaching skills, the elementary school pupils gained nutrition knowledge and skills, and the classroom teachers were provided with valuable curriculum materials for future use. The project was rated as successful by students, teachers, the school children, and nutrition instructors. This demonstrated an innovative method to teach nutrition education principles to university students with a threefold outcome.

Practical implications

Healthy eating behaviors need to be built in childhood, and schools are an ideal setting for nutrition education. However, resources are often limited. University professors should consider the use of live audiences for the development of teaching skills rather than the typical model of having students present to one another in their own classroom setting. Schools should consider the contribution that university students might make to their teaching programmes.

Originality/value

The paper describes an unusual, and cost‐effective, method of health education, of value to the teaching about dietetics, and to other areas of health education.

Details

Health Education, vol. 105 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 October 2018

Vincent Adocta Awuuh, Collins Afriyie Appiah and Faustina O. Mensah

This study aims to determine the impact of nutrition education intervention on nutritional status of undernourished children aged 6-24 months in the East Mamprusi district…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to determine the impact of nutrition education intervention on nutritional status of undernourished children aged 6-24 months in the East Mamprusi district of Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

This was a pre-post interventional study. In all, 153 undernourished children of age 6-24 months and their mothers were recruited from five communities. Underweight, stunting, wasting, mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) and haemoglobin (Hb) levels were determined at baseline and after intervention. Nutrition education was given to the mothers for three months based on the nutrition problems identified at baseline assessment.

Findings

There were improvements in underweight, wasting, MUAC and Hb levels among the children after the nutrition education intervention. The level of improvement at post-intervention differed significantly for underweight (−2.4 ± 0.4, −2.2 ± 0.4; p = 0. 001), wasting (−2.2 ± 0.6, −1.9 ± 0.6; p = 0. 001), MUAC (12.3 ± 0.5, 12.9 ± 0.6; p = 0. 001) and Hb level (10.0 ± 1.4, 10.5 ± 1.4; p = 0. 001) of the children compared to pre-intervention (−1.4 ± 1.8, −1.3 ± 1.7; p = 0.314).

Practical implications

There was significant improvement in the nutritional status of the undernourished children after the nutrition education intervention. Community nutritionists and stakeholders involved in nutrition and health issues concerning infants and young children should consider nutrition education, as it could be an inexpensive and effective strategy in combating childhood undernutrition in resource-poor settings.

Originality/value

Findings of this study provide evidence, suggesting nutrition education as a potential strategy to curb the high rates of child undernutrition in resource-poor communities in Ghana. This study provides insight for larger studies on the effectiveness of nutrition education in curbing child malnutrition in deprived communities in Ghana.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 April 2009

Diane Dancer and Anu Rammohan

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the main determinants of child nutrition in rural Nepal, focusing on the influential role of maternal autonomy.

1816

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the main determinants of child nutrition in rural Nepal, focusing on the influential role of maternal autonomy.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses data from the 2006 Nepal Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) to estimate econometric models using OLS and logit techniques. The dependent variables are the two anthropometric measures of child weight‐for‐height (a measure of wasting) and height‐for‐age (a measure of stunting).

Findings

No evidence was found of gender discrimination against the girl child in either of our nutritional measures. However, our results show that the explanatory variables have differential effects on male and female children. Estimation results show that maternal autonomy variables have a limited influence on child nutrition measures, but household wealth has a large positive impact on child nutrition, both short‐term and long term.

Originality/value

The large sample size and the range of questions available in our nationally representative dataset, allows us to explore the influence of household level social and economic factors on child nutrition. A study of the role of maternal decision‐making power and control over assets on the nutritional status of children is an important issue in a developing country like Nepal, where health and education outcomes remain poor for large segments of the population.

Details

Indian Growth and Development Review, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8254

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Ulya Faupel, Vanessa Haselhoff, Miriam Ziesak and Hartmut H. Holzmüller

Altering eating habits are leading to an increase in child obesity rates, especially in lower social class. One possible prevention activity is the implementation of a…

Abstract

Purpose

Altering eating habits are leading to an increase in child obesity rates, especially in lower social class. One possible prevention activity is the implementation of a quality label for children's food. Therefore, this paper seeks to investigate parents' food choice criteria in light of social standing to deduce the possible impact of such a quality label.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 15 qualitative interviews were conducted with parents of different social class. Topics discussed were general diets, grocery shopping behaviour and attitudes towards food quality labels.

Findings

Results indicate that parents have similar choice criteria independent of their social class, e.g. quality, price, brand and children's preferences. Nutrition panels and quality labels are not of highest importance. Nonetheless, a need for information exists and their involvement in child nutrition seems to determine the possible impact of quality labels.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative methodology can be seen as a limitation of the study. The influence of involvement has to be further analysed.

Originality/value

Some research on the influence of quality labels in general and on family decision-making when shopping for food and with regard to differences in social class does exist. This study contributes to existing research by combining these research streams.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Maria Nnyepi, Maurice R. Bennink, Jose Jackson-Malete, Sumathi Venkatesh, Leapetswe Malete, Lucky Mokgatlhe, Philemon Lyoka, Gabriel M. Anabwani, Jerry Makhanda and Lorraine J. Weatherspoon

Identifying and addressing poor nutritional status in school-aged children is often not prioritized relative to HIV/AIDS treatment. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Identifying and addressing poor nutritional status in school-aged children is often not prioritized relative to HIV/AIDS treatment. The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the benefits of integrating nutrition (assessment and culturally acceptable food supplement intervention) in the treatment strategy for this target group.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a randomized, double blind pre-/post-intervention trial with 201 HIV-positive children (six to 15 years) in Botswana. Eligibility included CD4 cell counts < 700/mm3 (a marker for the severity of HIV infection), documented treatment with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, and no reported evidence of taking supplemental food products with one or more added nutrients in the six-month period prior to the study. The intervention (12 months) consisted of two food supplements for ethical reason, one with a higher protein content, bean (bean-sorghum based) group (n=97) and a cereal (sorghum) group (n=104) both of which contained added energy- and micro- nutrients. Anthropometric and biochemical nutritional status indicators (stunting, wasting, underweight, skinfolds for fat and muscle protein reserves, and hemoglobin levels) were compared within and between the bean and the cereal groups pre- and post-intervention separately for children six to nine years and ten to 15 years.

Findings

Older children (ten to 15 years) fared worse overall compared to those who were younger (six to nine years) children in anthropometric and protein status indicators both at baseline and post-intervention. Among children six to nine years, the mid arm circumference and blood hemoglobin levels improved significantly in both the bean and cereal groups (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively). Although the BMI for age z-score and the triceps skinfold decreased significantly in the bean group, the post-intervention subscapular skinfold (fat stores) was significantly higher for the bean group compared to the cereal group (p < 0.05). Among children ten to 15 years, both the bean and the cereal groups also showed improvement in mid arm circumference (p < 0.001), but only those in the bean group showed improvement in hemoglobin (p < 0.01) post-intervention.

Originality/value

Similar significant nutritional status findings and trends were found for both food interventions and age within group pre- vs post-comparisons, except hemoglobin in the older children. Post-intervention hemoglobin levels for the type food supplement was higher for the “bean” vs the “cereal” food in the younger age group. The fact that all children, but especially those who were older were in poor nutritional status supports the need for nutrition intervention in conjunction with ARV treatment in children with HIV/AIDS, perhaps using a scaled up future approach to enhance desired outcomes.

Details

Health Education, vol. 115 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 February 2022

Stefani Milovanska-Farrington

Living a nutritious lifestyle requires that people get a sufficient amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals every day. Healthy dietary practices are related to a…

Abstract

Purpose

Living a nutritious lifestyle requires that people get a sufficient amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals every day. Healthy dietary practices are related to a stronger immune system, better prevention and easier recovery from illnesses, lower blood pressure, healthy weight, lower risk of diabetes, heart problems and other medical conditions and improved overall well-being (WHO, 2020). Therefore, to maintain a strong immune system able to prevent diseases and ease recovery, optimal nutrition and healthy habits are of increased importance during a pandemic such as Covid-19. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 22 million Americans have lost a job between February and October 2020, increasing the unemployment rate from 3.5% in February 2020 to 6.9% in October 2020, reaching a peak of 14.7% in April 2020. Job losses during the Covid-19 crisis are likely to put lots of families at risk of malnutrition and food insufficiency and to further deteriorate the already existing food insecurity (Gundersen et al., 2018). This research explores the effect of a recent job loss between August and October 2020 on food sufficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

This research examines the impact of a job loss on nutrition and food safety. Specifically, this study explores the effect of a job loss during the Covid-19 pandemic on the level of family and child food sufficiency as perceived by the respondent, confidence about meeting family’s dietary needs in the four weeks following the interview, and an indicator of whether the food sufficiency status of the family has deteriorated or not. This study also determines the differential effect of a job loss by individuals who are still employed despite the loss relative to workers who remained unemployed after a job loss during the Covid-19 crisis. Subsample analyses based on ethnicities, genders and educational attainment are also performed to identify the most vulnerable groups.

Findings

The results provide evidence that a job loss is associated with a highly statistically significant deterioration of food sufficiency for families and children and a reduction in the confidence in food security for the near future. This effect is observed for all job losers, but from them, it is larger for the ones who are currently unemployed compared to those who are working. The association between a job loss and family’s nutrition insecurity is the greatest for Hispanic, males and people with some college. Children’s nutrition suffers the most for children whose parents have not completed high school. These results provide an insight into the adverse effect of Covid-19 on food security.

Practical implications

From a policy perspective, the results indicate that federal nutrition programs whose goal is to ensure that the dietary needs of Americans, and especially children, are met, which are most likely to benefit the Hispanic population, individuals with low educational attainment and individuals who remained unemployed after losing a job.

Originality/value

This study makes several contributions to the growing literature on food security. First, this study is novel in that it examines the effect of an ongoing event, specifically a labor market disruption as a result of a health and economic crisis, on families’ nutrition, and does so using the newest publicly available data designed to track the impact of Covid-19 on the American population. This is one of the first studies that investigates the forementioned impacts in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. This study further contributes to the literature by distinguishing between employed versus unemployed individuals despite a job loss and by studying distinct groups on the population. In addition, this study compares the effects of interest in the onset of the pandemic to a year later to examine the population’s adjustment to the crisis. The importance and relevance of the results for policy decision-making are also discussed in the paper.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2011

Charlotte Johnston Molloy, Clare Corish, John Kearney, Nóirín Hayes and Corina Glennon Slattery

The provision of nutritious food to children in full day care pre‐schools is essential to ensure adequate child growth and development. The purpose of this paper is to…

647

Abstract

Purpose

The provision of nutritious food to children in full day care pre‐schools is essential to ensure adequate child growth and development. The purpose of this paper is to outline the development of a nutrition assessment tool (scored evaluation form (SEF)) for this setting, and describe the nutrition practice findings measured by this tool in full day child care in Ireland.

Design/methodology/approach

This study involved two phases: first, a comprehensive literature review carried out on each criterion in the SEF to ensure best practice; and second, use of the SEF in full day care pre‐schools to assess their nutrition practice.

Findings

Use of the SEF demonstrated that portion sizes provided to infants and toddlers were inadequate. Poor provision of iron containing, vegetable and dairy foods was noted, as were poor meal time practices. The phrasing of certain criteria needs modification to avoid misinterpretation of portion size.

Research limitations/implications

With small modifications to clarify the portion size provided, the SEF can be used in the pre‐school setting to ascertain nutrition practice.

Practical implications

The SEF requires testing to determine its utility as an intervention tool whereby its use may lead to positive changes in nutrition practice in the pre‐school setting.

Originality/value

This paper outlines the development of a nutrition practice assessment tool for the full day child care setting in Ireland and describes previously unknown data gathered using this tool.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 7000