Investigation of the eating habits, knowledge and perception of children age 9-12 years old on functional food in the primary schools of Lemnos and Thessaloniki
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Laboratory of Nutrition and Public Health, Unit of Human Nutrition, School of the Environment, University of the Aegean, Myrina, Greece
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A154
Functional foods (FF) can play a central role in supporting children's health in their effort to adopt a healthier diet.

The investigation of knowledge, perceptions, frequency of consumption of functional foods and the recording of eating behaviors in primary school children.

Material and Methodology:
374 children (162 girls and 211 boys) aged 9-12 years (4th, 5th and 6th grade) from 3 schools in Lemnos and 5 schools in Thessaloniki took part in the study. The children completed the KIDMED Questionnaire, as well as a questionnaire about their physical activity, time spent watching TV and playing electronic games, the frequency of cooking or shopping with their parents, the frequency of eating breakfast and homemade snack at school, the frequency of consumption FF and their opinion on them. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSSS-17.0, using ANOVA test, Bonferoni, Post-hoc-analysis, Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Pearson.

10.7% of children had low adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MD), 44.4% moderate and 39.6% high. 88% of children didn’t know what FF are, while 11.8% knew. 90.4% of those who knew what FF are they don’t know which foods are FF. Adherence to MD is not affected by the area where the children live (countryside or city) (p = 0.259). Adherence to MD was negatively correlated with the hours of watching in front of screens (TV, tablet, laptop, mobile) and positively correlated with the consumption of breakfast (p = 0.000) and homemade snacks at school (p = 0.000) as well as the consumption (p = 0.000), the knowledge (p = 0.037) and the perception of functional foods (p = 0.024). There is positive correlation between FF consumption and the willingness to try new foods (p = 0.000).

The results showed a positive correlation between MD adherence and knowledge - consumption of FF. Further research is needed to have definite conclusions.

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