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Nutritional knowledge and the recognition and acceptability of fruit and vegetables amongst primary school children: age and gender differences

Jenks, Jessica Amy (2010) Nutritional knowledge and the recognition and acceptability of fruit and vegetables amongst primary school children: age and gender differences. University of Chester.

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Abstract

With the consumption of fruit and vegetables amongst primary school children in the UK being one of the lowest in Europe (Gregory et al., 2000), the need for research into the determinants of fruit and vegetable intake is essential in order for future interventions to be successful in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption (Rasmussen et al., 2006). This study, therefore, aimed to investigate possible gender and age differences amongst primary school children’s nutritional knowledge, and their recognition and acceptability of commonly available fruit and vegetables. In total, 73 children aged 8-11 years from Ellesmere Primary School in Shropshire, UK, took part. Both quantitative and qualitative measures were employed. A Chi Square Test revealed that only the acceptability of pineapple increased significantly with age, and a two-way ANOVA for the recognition of fruit and vegetables revealed no significant main effects for age or gender, or an interaction between the two variables. Analysis of the transcripts revealed that nutritional knowledge seemed to increase with age. Overall, few age and gender differences were found; however, future research should look to employ wider age ranges to identify where changes in acceptability of fruit and vegetables occur, in order for interventions to be appropriately tailored.

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