J Nutr Health.  2015 Aug;48(4):335-343. 10.4163/jnh.2015.48.4.335.

Evaluation of dietary behavior and nutritional status of elementary school students in Jeju using nutrition quotient

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nutrition Education, Graduate School of Education, Yeungnam University, Daegu 705-717, Korea. kypark@ynu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Yeungnam University, Gyeongbuk 712-749, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
The aim of this study was to evaluate the food behavior and nutritional status of elementary school students in the Jeju area using Nutrition Quotient (NQ).
METHODS
The subjects were 440 students (235 boys and 205 girls) in the fifth and sixth grade at four elementary schools located in Jeju. Demographic, lifestyle, and environmental information was collected using a self-reported questionnaire. The food behavior checklist for children's Nutrition Quotient (NQ), consisting of 19 items, and nutrition education related information were also obtained.
RESULTS
The mean score of the children's NQ was poor, reaching 60.3 points. The percentage distribution of NQ grade was 19.8% (lowest), 18.6% (low), 45.0% (medium), 10.7% (high), and 5.9% (highest) and the factor scores for balance, diversity, abstinence, regularity, and practice were 56.6, 68.4, 71.3, 57.4, and 54.8 points, respectively. Compared with the NQ cut-off points for defining malnutrition (balance; 57, diversity; 87, abstinence; 66, regularity; 69, and practice; 67 point), average score of abstinence factor was only above the cut-off point and scores of the other factors were below the cut-off point. Subjects with higher NQ scores tended to have higher levels of exercise activity (p < 0.001), frequency of family meals (p < 0.01), and father's educational levels (p < 0.01) compared to those with lower NQ score. NQ score showed positive association with nutrition education experience and practice (p < 0.001)
CONCLUSION
NQ score of elementary school students residing in Jeju was lower than the national average. More opportunities should be provided for participation in nutrition education, which incorporates a range of program strategies, as well as communication and education activities.

Keyword

nutrition quotient; Jeju island; children; nutritional status; dietary behavior
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