Korean J Community Nutr.  2002 Oct;7(5):664-674.

A Needs Assessment to Develop Website Contents on Nutritional Information and Counseling for Teenagers

  • 1Department of Consumers' Living Information, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea. sunly@cnu.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Food and Nutrition, Youngnam University, Kyungsan, Korea.
  • 4Laboratory for Detection of Irradiated Foods, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon, Korea.


A survey was conducted to investigate the current status of utilization of cyber nutritional information for teenagers and the reason for their need of such website content. In the four cities of Seoul, Daejeon, Gwangju and Daegu, in September and October, 2000, 1262 secondary school students were randomly selected. Survey results are summarized as follows: The participants searched for nutritional information by means of internet/PC communication for 137.0 +/- 100.6 (Mean +/- S.D.) minutes per day, mainly for the purpose of playing games, entertainment, chatting, or doing homework. Of the participants, 4.5% searched for nutritional information by means of internet/PC communication primarily for doing homework, and secondarily for reasons related to their own health or diet. Their satisfaction levels with the web sites used to obtain nutritional information was average. Needs assessments regarding the content of the web sites and the screen design showed that the teenagers wanted simple, clearly explained content, current information, easy access, less complicated screens and more use of characters. Only 8.1% of the participants had received nutritional counseling by means of internet/PC communication and 91% of them used it less than once a month, showing the very low utilization of nutritional counseling. The teenagers' main reasons for using nutritional counseling were related to their homework or diets, and their satisfaction levels regarding the counseling were below average. Poorly understood answers, and slow responses were mentioned. They had high interests in 'Diet for better growth,' 'Acne and diet,' 'Dental health and diet,' and 'Adolescent development'. These topics are mostly related to appearance. In conclusion, it is necessary to provide for teenagers, on nutritional information web sites, simple and well organized information, including simple graphics and characters, appropriate for their gender and age, as well as counseling sites offering kind and satisfying responses.


teenagers; cyber nutrition information; cyber nutrition counseling

MeSH Terms

Needs Assessment*
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