Journal of Public Health and Nutrition

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Research Article - Journal of Public Health and Nutrition (2020) Volume 3, Issue 2

Association of Children and Caregiver Perceptions on Policy with Children's Snack Eating Patterns in South Korea.

Background: Investigations of the association between children’s snack food and beverage consumption and related policy are limited.

Objective: The present study assessed children’s eating patterns of snack foods and beverages and investigated any association with children and their caregiver perceptions on food environment policy.

Participants and methods: A cross-sectional study included 1,132 fourth-grade students and 1,132 of their caregivers. All children completed a questionnaire on the consumption frequencies of 31 items of snack foods and beverages. All children and their caregivers completed questions evaluating whether they perceive food environment policies. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to analyze the association between policy perceptions and eating patterns derived from factor analysis.

Results: Two major eating patterns were obtained: a healthy pattern and an unhealthy pattern. Awareness of both children and caregivers regarding 7 policy questions was significantly associated with the healthy eating pattern, whereas unawareness regarding 4 policy questions was associated with the unhealthy eating pattern. In particular, caregivers who were unaware of the policies regarding designation of children's food safety protection zones and food quality certification display on packaging had a two-fold or a 1.5-fold higher odds ratio (p-value<0.05) for having children with the unhealthy eating pattern compared with the reference group (positive respondent pairs to policy awareness), regardless of children’s policy perception.

Conclusion: Children and their caregivers should be educated on food environment policies to establish healthy eating habits of snack foods and beverages in children.

Author(s): Eunjung Choi, Inkyung Baik*

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