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Title: Food consumption patterns in fourth and fifth grade school children
Authors: Mercieca, Nicola
Keywords: School children -- Food -- Malta
Obesity in children -- Malta
Children -- Nutrition -- Malta
Food habits -- Malta
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: The aim of this study was to outline the frequency and type of food children aged 8-9 years in primary schools consume and differentiate this by type of school attended and by gender. The main objectives of this study were to identify the eating habits and food intake of a sample of the target population. The results are expected to identify areas which should be targeted in nutritional and educational interventions. A quantitative cross-sectional design was used. The sample which was selected by random cluster sampling, consisted of 100 students aged between eight and nine years. Students from six different schools in Malta were selected. A validated questionnaire was administered to the pupils. Various statistical tests were utilized to analyze the data collected and correlate variables. Results showed the most frequently consumed foods and beverages by children on a daily basis. The most popular food group was that of bread, rice and pasta and the most popular beverages were healthy beverages. Results also showed foods and beverages which were consumed least frequently among children of this age group and these were vegetables and unhealthy beverages. Males were found to be more likely than females to consume the group fatty foods and preservatives, whilst females were more likely than males to consume foods which are high in protein. It was also found that Church school children have the highest daily intakes of the food groups vegetable, fruit and milk and dairy products . They also have the lowest consumption of fatty foods and preservatives on a daily basis. Private school children have the highest consumption of bread, pasta and rice ,meat, fish, nuts and seeds and healthy beverages on a daily basis. However they also have the lowest consumption of vegetables on a daily basis .State school children have the highest consumption in milk and dairy products , fatty foods and preservatives and unhealthy beverages on a daily basis. This study has obtained results which show that children who go to state schools have a less balanced and unhealthier diet than children who attend private or church schools. This study outlined the frequency and the type of food consumed by children. These findings can serve as a guide towards the development of interventions which can not only play a role in reducing the local obesity epidemic, but also prevent it from increasing.
Description: B.ED.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEdu - 2013

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