Journal List > Korean J Nutr > v.44(2) > 1043869

Lee, Choi, and Bae: Association between Nutritional Knowledge and Dietary Behaviors of Middle School Children and Their Mothers


Middle-school students (158 boys and 199 girls) and their mothers were asked about nutritional attitudes, nutritional knowledge, dietary habits, and food intake using a questionnaire to examine whether nutritional knowledge and dietary behaviors of mothers affected their children's dietary habits. Nutritional attitude scores (total, 15 points) and nutritional knowledge scores (total, 20 points) of girls were 11.24 and 16.13 points, respectively, which were significantly higher than 10.47 and 15.43 points for boys. Generally, mothers received higher points than their children for all scores surveyed, but the results were not significantly different between boys' mothers and girls' mothers. The mean nutrient adequacy ratio (MAR) was calculated from dietary nutrient intakes to assess overall quality of meals. The results showed that girls had a higher MAR than that of boys (0.89 vs. 0.86, p < 0.01). Relationships among variables were examined by Pearson's correlation coefficient within children and between children and their mothers. Significant positive correlations were observed between nutritional attitudes and knowledge in both boys and girls. In girls, positive correlations between nutritional attitudes and dietary habits, nutritional knowledge and dietary habits, and dietary habits and MAR were also sig-nificant. In boys, only dietary habits and MAR were correlated with those of their mothers. Nutritional attitudes, dietary habits, and the MAR of girls' mothers were significantly correlated with nutritional attitude, dietary habits and the MAR of girls. The results indicate that the influence of mothers on dietary behaviors of children was greater in girls than that in boys, suggesting that a gender-specific nutrition education program is needed for middle school students.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
General characteristics of the subjects

1) N (%) 2) BMI (Body Mass Index) = Weight (kg)/Height (m)2 3) Mean ± SD 4) ***: p < 0.001 by t-test

Table 2
Scores of nutrition attitude, nutrition knowledge, and dietary habit of students and their mothers

1) N (%) 2) Mean ± SD *: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01, ***: p < 0.001 by t-test 3) *: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01, ***: p < 0.001 by chi-square test

Table 3
Sources of nutrition information, dietary behaviors and influential factors of dietary habit of students and their mothers

1) N (%)

***: p < 0.001 by chi-square test

Table 4
Levels of nutrient intakes of subjects and nutrient adequacy ratios assessed by 24 hour recall of dietary intake

1) Percentage value of intake compared to RI (Recommended intake) or AI (Adequate intake) 2) NAR: nutrient adequacy ratio 3) MAR: mean adequacy ratio 4) Mean ± SD

*: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01, ***: p < 0.001 by t-test

Table 5
Percentages of subjects with nutrient intakes less than estimated average requirements

1) % (N) 2) Energy: less than 75% of estimated energy requirement

*: p < 0.05, ***: p < 0.001 by chi-square test

Table 6
Correlations among nutrition attitude, nutrition knowledge, dietary habit, MAR of boy and girl students

1) MAR: mean nutrient adequacy ratio 2) Pearson's correlation coefficient value

*: p < 0.05, ***: p < 0.001 by Pearson's correlation

Table 7
Correlation of nutrition attitude, nutrition knowledge, dietary habit, MAR between students and their mothers

1) Pearson's correlation coefficient value 2) MAR: mean nutrient adequacy ratios

*: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.01, ***: p < 0.001 by Pearson's correlation


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