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Nutrition Knowledge and Dietary Behavior

Nutrition Knowledge and Dietary Behavior

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The purposes of this research project were to assess nutrition knowledge and dietary behavior of adolescents, and to determine what relationship, if any, exists between nutrition knowledge and dietary behavior. A newly-developed 25-question nutrition knowledge survey was used to measure general nutrition knowledge among 287 seventh grade students in Newburgh, Indiana. Dietary behavior scores were determined by rating the food choices purchased by the students in the school cafeteria over one week, with points awarded if the items met IN-S.B. 0111''s definition of a "better choice" food. Results indicated low levels of nutrition knowledge (mean=48.5%), with girls scoring significantly higher on the nutrition knowledge survey than boys. The average dietary behavior score was 73.8% (an average of 7.8 "better choice" foods out of every 11.4 total foods purchased). No significant relationship was found between the score on the nutrition knowledge test and the dietary behavior score. Linear regression analysis indicated nutrition knowledge was a more important predictor of dietary behavior than gender or race in this seventh grade population.
The Relationship between Knowledge and Behavior among Adolescents