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Health-related knowledge and preferences in low socio-economic kindergarteners

Nemet, Dan, Geva, Deganit, Meckel, Yoav, Eliakim, Alon
international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity 2012 v.9 no.1 pp. 535
children, exercise, food choices, health promotion, kindergarten, males, nutrition knowledge, socioeconomic status
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to determine physical activity (PA) and nutrition knowledge and preferences in low socio-economic status kindergarten children. METHODS: Following height and weight measurement, 795 low socio-economic status kindergarten children (age 3.8-6.8 y.o) completed a photo-pair knowledge and preferences food and exercise questionnaire. RESULTS: No difference was found between nutrition and PA knowledge scores (52.3 ± 0.9 versus 52.6 ± 0.8%, respectively). There was no difference between the nutrition knowledge and preference score (52.3 ± 0.9 versus 50.9 ± 0.9%, respectively). PA preference was significantly higher than knowledge (56.9 ± 1.5 versus 52.6 ± 0.8%, respectively; p < 0.0001). Significant correlations were found between nutrition knowledge and preferences (r = 0.55, p < 0.0001), physical activity knowledge and preferences (r = 0.46, p < 0.0001), and nutrition and PA preferences (r = 0.46, p < 0.001). Nutrition preference scores were significantly lower in overweight compared to normal weight kindergartners 48.1 ± 1.7 versus 52.0 ± 1.0%; p < 0.05). PA knowledge and preference scores were significantly higher among male compared to the female kindergartners (p < 0.001 for both). CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrate diversities in physical activity and nutrition knowledge and preferences among low socio-economic status kindergarten children. These findings may be important for the development of health promotion programs in low socioeconomic kindergarten children.