Associations between Children’s Food Preferences and Food Habits towards Healthy Eating in Japanese Children
- *Corresponding Author:
- Nobutaka Kurihara
Hygiene and Preventive Medicine
Graduate School of Life Science
Kobe Women’s University, Japan
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: May 06, 2016, Accepted Date: May 17, 2016, Published Date: May 24, 2016
Citation: Osera T, Tsutie S, Kobayashi M, Sato T, Kurihara N (2016) Associations between Children’s Food Preferences and Food Habits towards Healthy Eating in Japanese Children. J Child Adolesc Behav 4:292. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000292
Copyright: © 2016 Kurihara N, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: Food-related preferences and practices are essential for nutrition and are formed in early childhood. In this study, we investigated the associations between the frequency of food dislikes of children at 3-5 years old and their attitudes toward healthy eating. Methods: In February 2012, a questionnaire was given to the mothers of 928 children who attended eight kindergartens or nursery facilities in Japan. In the questionnaire, the mothers were asked about their children's food behaviors and attitudes including whether they have disliked food. The mothers also answered the foods that the children disliked, which were chosen from a list of 55 foods. We analyzed the data with the structural equation model to examine the mutual relationships of the questionnaire items. Then, we investigated the association of the frequency of the children's food dislikes with their levels of "respect for food" and "concern about food" on the basis of the results of the structured equation model analysis. Results: The structural equation model showed that "respect for food", "concern about food" and their preferences were classified into the same category. In the model, "respect for food" and "concern about food" and their preferences affected morning habits, sleeping habits, meal preparation, and communication with their family (GFI=0.97; AGFI=0.95; CFI=0.93; RMSEA=0.05). The number of foods disliked by the children significantly decreased according to increasing levels of "respect for food" (p<0.001) and "concern about food" (p<0.001). The ratio of each of the top 10 foods which children disliked decreased significantly as the level of "respect for food" and "concern about food" increased respectively. Conclusion: The present data suggested that the children's "respect for food" and "concern about food" were associated with a decrease in children's food dislikes.