J Korean Diet Assoc.  2003 Aug;9(3):185-196.

Recognition of processed foods may affect the use of food labelings in middle school students and their parents

  • 1Department of Consumers' Life Information, Chungnam National University, Korea. leejw@cnu.ac.kr
  • 2Chubu middle School, Kumsan, Korea.


In order to investigate the recognition of processed foods, use of food labeling, and their influencing factors in adolescents, 277(male 125, female 152) middle school students were conveniently selected from Cheonan city, and were surveyed by self-recording questionnaire on June, 2000. Subjects' parents were also surveyed using the similar questionnaire. Food labels of all 222 processed foods collected from stores around schools, were well labeled in most items, but food additives(35.6%) and the origin of major ingredient(27.0) were not well indicated. The recognition score of processed foods was 55.0 out of a full score 100 in students and 68.5 in parents. The scores of students were positively correlated with those of their parents and with father's education years, while negatively correlated with snacking expenses. The rate of reading food labels was significantly different between students(51.3%) and their parents(89.9%). The main purposes of reading food labels, in case of students, were to check expiry date(93.7%), price(70.4%), and how to eat(46.5%) in order. While in parents, those were to check expiry date(95.6%), additives(59.0%), and manufacturer(45.8%). Similarly, the most three important items in food labels were expiry date, price, and quantity to the students, but to the parents they were expiry date, manufacturer, and ingredient. The most significant reason not to confirm food labels was because of small size and complication of labels. The students who did not read food labels had more snacking money and more frequent snacking, and showed lower recognition score of processed food, compared with the students who read food labels. In conclusion, the students did not well recognise processed foods and only a half of them read food labels at purchasing. The recognition score of processed foods, snacking moneys, and snacking frequency may be influencing factors on the reading of food labels in students. The high recognition of processed food of parents may positively affect the students' recognition, but did not affect directly the reading food labels.

MeSH Terms

Food Labeling
Surveys and Questionnaires
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