Journal List > Korean J Community Nutr > v.21(1) > 1038530

Korean J Community Nutr. 2016 Feb;21(1):1-11. Korean.
Published online February 29, 2016.
Copyright © 2016 The Korean Society of Community Nutrition
Evaluation of Nutrition Quotient and Related Factors in Preschool Children
Yeon Hyang Jung and Jung Hee Kim
Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul Women's University, Seoul, Korea.

Corresponding author: Jung Hee Kim. Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul Women's University, 621 Hwarang-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul 01797, Korea. Tel: (02) 970-5646, Fax: (02) 976-4049, Email:
Received December 29, 2015; Revised January 29, 2016; Accepted February 18, 2016.

This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study was conducted to evaluate the nutrition quotient (NQ) by gender and understand which factors influence NQ in preschool children.


Subjects were 245 children (110 boys, 135 girls) aged 4-6 years and their parents. The questionnaire composed of demographic characteristics, eating behavior factors and the NQ questions. The NQ consisted of 19 food behavior checklist items and all items were grouped into 5 factors: balance, diversity, moderation, regularity, and practice. Inbody J05, a measurement device that measures individual's body composition was used to measure children's anthropometric data. All data were statistically analyzed by SPSS program (Ver. 20) and the statistical differences in variables were evaluated by Student t-test, χ2-test, One-way ANOVA and Duncan's multiple range test.


The total NQ score of the subjects was 65.3. The NQ score of girls (67.0) was significantly higher than that of the boys (63.2) (p<0.01). The girls' average scores of NQ factors including diversity (p<0.01) and practice (p<0.05) were higher than those of the boys. The analysis of related-factors influencing NQ scores showed that there was a significant difference among the groups according to feeding methods during infancy (p<0.05), breast feeding group being the highest. Furthermore, the NQ score showed a significant difference depending on how to correct children's unbalanced diet as well as parents' nutrition knowledge. The NQ score of obesity group tended to be lower than that of underweight group although there was no significant difference.


Overall results indicated that the girls had better quality of diet and eating habits than the boys. Children and their parents need proper nutrition education and counseling to correct children's eating habits and to improve diet quality in kindergartens and in children care centers.

Keywords: nutrition quotient; eating behavior; preschool children; NQ related factors


Table 1
General characteristics of preschool children
Click for larger image

Table 2
Anthropometric measurements of preschool children
Click for larger image

Table 3
NQ score of preschool children
Click for larger image

Table 4
Comparison of checklist items for each factor of NQ
Click for larger image

Table 5
Analysis of NQ influencing factors
Click for larger image

Table 6
NQ and its factors by growth index
Click for larger image

Table 7
NQ and its factors by BMI percentile
Click for larger image

1. Kang MH, Lee JS, Kim HY, Kwon S, Choi YS, Chung HR. Selecting items of a food behavior checklist for the development of Nutrition Quotient (NQ) for children. Korean J Nutr 2012;45(4):372–389.
2. Kim HY, Kwon S, Lee JS, Choi YS, Chung HR, Kwak TK. Development of a Nutrition Quotient (NQ) equation modeling for children and the evaluation of its construct validity. Korean J Nutr 2012;45(4):390–399.
3. Yoo JS, Choi YS. Evaluation of items for the food behavior checklist and nutrition quotient score on children in rural areas of Gyeongbuk. J Nutr Health 2013;46(5):427–439.
4. Boo MN, Cho SK, Park K. Evaluation of dietary behavior and nutritional status of elementary school students in Jeju using nutrition quotient. J Nutr Health 2015;48(4):335–343.
5. Huang YC, Kim HY. Assessment of dietary behavior of Chinese children using nutrition quotient for children. J Nutr Health 2014;47(5):342–350.
6. Kim JH, Jung YH. Evaluation of food behavior and nutritional status of preschool children in Nowon-gu of Seoul by using nutrition quotient. Korean J Community Nutr 2014;19(1):1–11.
7. Briley ME, Jastrow S, Vickers J, Roberts-Gray C. Dietary intake at child-care centers and away: Are parents and care providers working as partners or at cross-purposes? J Am Diet Assoc 1999;99(8):950–954.
8. Kang KJ. A study on food habits, nutrient intakes and nutritional quality of preschool children in Seoul. Korean J Community Nutr 2005;10(4):471–483.
9. Cho MS. Nutrition and health status of day-care center children. Korean J Diet Cult 2000;15(4):313–323.
10. Choi MJ, Yoon JS. The effect of eating habits and nutrient intake on the physical growth indices in preschool children. Korean J Community Nutr 2003;8(1):3–14.
11. Eun JH, Kim SM. The effects of taste preferences on nutrients intake and the degree of dental caries in preschool children. Korean J Community Nutr 2003;8(5):631–641.
12. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ministry of Health & Welfare. Korea Health Statistics 2013 - The sixth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES VI-I) [internet]. 2014 [cited 2015 Dec 20].
13. Kang EJ. In: A study on nutrient intakes and eating habits of preschool children [master's thesis]. Gyeongsang National University; 2010.
14. Lee JH, Kang EJ, Kim CI. The difference of perception about nutritional problems and food intakes, nutrition knowledge score and realities of nutrition education between parents and preschool teachers. Korean J Community Nutr 2011;16(6):636–646.
15. Kim KA, Sim YH. Cognitive performance and hyperactivity in terms of eating behavior and physical growth among preschoolers-1. A survey on eating behavior of preschoolers-. Korean J Diet Cult 1995;10(4):255–268.
16. Seo SJ, Min IJ, Shin HS. Study of eating behavior and food preference in young children: Differences by age and gender. J East Asian Soc Diet Life 2009;19(5):659–667.
17. Jang YA, Han SS, Lee HS, Won HS, Kim SH, Kim HY. A study for dietary attitude and food behavior of elementary, middle and high school students of Korea. J Korean Home Econ Assoc 2000;38(8):85–97.
18. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ministry of Health & Welfare. Korea Health Statistics 2012 - the fixth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [internet]. 2013 [cited 2014 Dec 10].
19. Oh K, Jang MJ, Lee NY, Moon JS, Lee CG, Yoo MH. Prevalence and trends in obesity among Korean children and adolescents in 1997 and 2005. Korean J Pediatr 2008;51(9):950–955.
20. Hong YJ. A study on a relation of food ecology to obesity index of 5th grade children in Cheju city (II). Korean J Diet Cult 1998;13(2):141–151.
21. Kim KM. Needs assessment of nutrition education for preschoolers and their parents using focus group interview. J East Asian Soc Diet Life 2015;25(1):20–29.
22. Lee SJ, Kim Y. Evaluation of the diet and nutritional states of elementary and middle school students in the Daegu area by using Nutrition Quotient for children. J Nutr Health 2013;46(5):440–446.
23. Song HH. The Effects of mothers' eating habits and nutritional knowledge on their children's eating habits and obesity. Asian J Child Welf Dev 2013;11(2):67–86.
24. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Korean Pediatric Society. Standard Growth Curve for Korean Children and Adolescents. Seoul: Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Korean Pediatric Society; 2007. pp. 10-29.
25. Seo JY, Lee IS, Choi BS. Study of food intakes and eating patterns among preschool children in Daegu area-Nutrient intakes and dietary habits associated with body weight status-. Korean J Community Nutr 2009;14(6):710–721.
26. Kim JR, Lim HS. Relationships between children's nutrition quotient and the practice of the dietary guidelines of elementary school students and their mothers. J Nutr Health 2015;48(1):58–70.
27. Kim NH, Lee IS. Assessment of nutritional status of children in community child center by nutrition quotient -Gyeongju-. J East Asian Soc Diet Life 2015;25(1):73–86.
28. Kim SK, Kang KH. The factors associated with feeding on Korean infants' growth. J Nat Sci Soonchunhyang Univ 2000;6(2):227–231.
29. Kim MJ. The effect of eating habit, life behavior and body image of higher grade elementary school children and parents in child obesity degree. Korean J Growth Dev 2013;21(3):227–235.