Korean J Community Nutr.  2016 Apr;21(2):140-151. 10.5720/kjcn.2016.21.2.140.

Dietary Habits and Perception Toward Food Additives according to the Frequency of Consumption of Convenience Food at Convenience Stores among University Students in Cheongju

  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea. mpae@chungbuk.ac.kr


This study was performed to examine the consumption patterns of convenience food at convenience stores, dietary habits, and perception as well as knowledge of food additives among university students.
Subjects were 352 university students in Cheongju, Korea, and data was collected by a self-administered questionnaire. They were divided into three groups according to the frequency of consumption of convenience food at convenience stores: 79 rare (≤ 1 time/month), 89 moderate (2-4 times/month) and 184 frequent (≥ 2 times/week).
More subjects from the frequent consumption group lived apart from parents (p<0.001) and possessed more pocket money (p<0.01). Frequent consumption group consumed noodles, Kimbab, and sandwich & burger significantly more often (p<0.001, respectively) than others. In addition, frequent consumption of convenience foods at convenience stores was associated with frequent breakfast skipping (p<0.05), irregular meal time (p<0.01), snacking (p<0.05), and eating late night meal (p<0.001). More from the rare consumption group had heard about food additives previously compared to the frequent consumption group (79.7% vs. 63.6%, p<0.01). Frequent consumption group showed significantly higher score than did the rare consumption group for the following questions: monosodium glutamate is harmful to your health (p<0.05), food additives are necessary for food manufacturing (p<0.005), food additives need to be labeled on products (p<0.05), there is no food additive at all if labeled as no preservatives, no coloring, and no added sugar (p<0.05). There was a significant difference in degrees of choosing products with less food additives depending on the consumption pattern.
Our results provided a better understanding of the factors associated with frequent consumption of convenience foods at convenience stores among university students and will be useful to develop a nutrition education program for those who are more prone to consume convenience foods.


convenience food; convenience stores; food additives; university students
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