Author(s): Hendrie GA, Coveney J, Cox D
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: Explore the level of general nutrition knowledge and demographic influences of knowledge levels in a community sample. DESIGN AND SETTING: A sample of volunteers, recruited from community centres in two suburbs of differing socio-economic status, in Adelaide, South Australia. SUBJECTS: Two hundred and one people, aged 18 years and older, completed a modified and validated version of the General Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire (113 items). The questionnaire was self-administered and completed under supervision. RESULTS: Basic messages about eating more fruit, vegetables and fibre, and less fatty and salty foods were best understood. Confusion was evident with more detailed nutrition information. For example, 90 \% of the people were aware of the recommendations to eat more fruit and vegetables, but 56 \% and 62 \% knew the recommended number of servings of fruit and vegetables, respectively. Descriptive statistics showed significant demographic variation in nutrition knowledge levels; multiple regression analysis confirmed the significant independent effects of gender, age, highest level of education and employment status on nutrition knowledge level (P < 0.01 level). The model accounted for 40 \% of the variance in nutrition knowledge scores. CONCLUSIONS: There is demographic variation in nutrition knowledge levels and a broad lack of awareness of some public health nutrition recommendations. Having a detailed understanding of the deficiencies in community knowledge should allow for future nutrition education programmes to target subgroups of the population or particular areas of nutrition education, to more efficiently improve knowledge and influence dietary behaviour.
This article was published in Public Health Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences