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J Nutr Health. 2019 Dec;52(6):604-617. Korean.
Published online Dec 26, 2019.
© 2019 The Korean Nutrition Society
Analysis of the types of eating behavior affecting the nutrition of preschool children: using the Dietary Behavior Test (DBT) and the Nutrition Quotient (NQ)
Hyeon Mi Sim,1,2 Youngshin Han,3 and Kyung A Lee1
1Department of Food and Nutrition, Deagu Catholic University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38430, Korea.
2Gyeongsan-si Center for Children's Foodservice Management, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38430, Korea.
3Nutrii Co., Ltd. Research Institute of Food & Life Cycle, Seoul 03766, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-53-850-3522, Email:
Received Oct 30, 2019; Revised Dec 05, 2019; Accepted Dec 12, 2019.

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.



To investigate the effect of eating behavior on nutritional status according to temperament type.


One thousand one hundred three preschool children aged 2 to 6 years in Gyeongsan, Gyeongsangbuk-do from April to June 2018 were surveyed about their eating behavior and nutritional status using DBT (Dietary Behavior Test) and NQ (Nutrition Quotient) which are proven tests. The dietary behaviors of the children were classified into four categories: approach avoidance, sensory sensitivity, hyperactivity, and irregularity. NQ scores were divided into five categories: balance, diversity, moderation, regularity, and practice.


The mean of the children's age was 3.42 ± 1.4 (596 boys and 507 girls). The percentage distribution of the NQ grade was as follows: 5.5% (highest), 12.5% (high), 47.1% (medium), 22.2% (low), and 12.6% (lowest). The risk group of approach avoidance and sensory sensitivity had significantly (p < 0.001) lower scores than the normal group in balance factor (51.9 ± 12.0 vs. 57.8 ± 15.9 in approach avoidance type, 52.6 ± 17.6 vs. 57.7 ± 15.9 in sensory sensitivity type) and diversity factor (32.5 ± 24.4 vs. 50.1 ± 22.4 in approach avoidance type, and 32.5 ± 24.0 vs. 50.7 ± 22.2 in sensory sensitivity type). The scores of the hyperactivity risk group were significantly lower in moderation factor (78.2 ± 12.1 vs. 81.2 ± 11.9), and those of the irregular risk group were significantly lower in variety (35.9 ± 24.5 vs. 48.8 ± 23.2), regularity (57.6 ± 37.1 vs. 66.1 ± 17.6), and practice (57.1 ± 19.4 vs. 65.1 ± 22.5) factors than the normal group (p < 0.001). Especially, the risk group of approach avoidance and sensitivity type had significantly (p < 0.001) lower intakes of whole grain, fruit, bean and bean products, vegetables, and Kimchi.


This present study suggested that the eating behavior based on temperament of demanding preschool children affected food choice resulting in food consumption diversity of children. Therefore, it is important to provide customized nutrition education programs based on temperament type.

Keywords: dietary behaving test; nutrition quotient; eating behavior; preschool children


Fig. 1
NQ Score according to the risk of eating behavior by type of eating behavior (Comparison of balance, diversity, Moderation, Regularity, and Practice score between normal and risk group). ***p < 0.001.
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Table 1
Characteristics of subjects
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Table 2
Nutrition quotient (NQ) score and grade of subject
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Table 3
Percentage of determination of type of subject's eating behavior by gender
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Table 4
Evaluation of NQ balance factors according to the eating behavior risk level of eating behavior
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Table 5
Evaluation of NQ diversity factors according to the eating Behavior risk Level of eating behavior
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Table 6
Evaluation of NQ moderation factors according to the eating behavior risk level of eating behavior
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Table 7
Evaluation of NQ regularity factors according to the eating behavior risk level of eating behavior
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Table 8
Evaluation of NQ practice factors according to the eating behavior risk level of eating behavior
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