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Diet and mental performance of children: A questionnaire survey of parents in four European countries.

Egan, B, Gage, H, Williams, P, Raats, M, Brands, B, Gyoerei, E, Lopez-Robles, J, Campoy, C, Koletzko, B and Decsi, T (2011) Diet and mental performance of children: A questionnaire survey of parents in four European countries. In: 11th European Nutrition Conference (FENS), 2011-10-26 - 2011-10-29, Madrid, Spain.

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Abstract

Introduction: Diet is one of many factors influencing a child’s mental performance. but little is known about the beliefs. attitudes and knowledge of parents. and how these affect food choices. A survey of parents of children aged 4-10 years was conducted in four European countries (England. Germany. Hungary. Spain) to explore their views about the effect of diet on children’s attention and ability to learn. Objectives: Diet is one of many factors influencing a child’s mental performance. but little is known about the beliefs. attitudes and knowledge of parents. and how these affect food choices. A survey of parents of children aged 4-10 years was conducted in four European countries (England. Germany. Hungary. Spain) to explore their views about the effect of diet on children’s attention and ability to learn. Method/Design: A questionnaire was designed. translated and piloted in the four countries. Parents of children in mainstream education and without diagnosed pathologies such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder were recruited through online panels accessed by a market research company. Background information was collected on respondents’ personal characteristics (household composition and demography. socioeconomic status. education. ethnicity). The questionnaire explored views on the relationship between diet and physical and mental development. attention and ability to learn. and how such considerations affected food choices. Results: 1604 parents completed the questionnaire (401 in England. Germany and Hungary. 403 in Spain); 61% female (range 54% Spain – 68% England). Most respondents had completed higher education (range 66% England – 39% Hungary). Almost one half were current smokers (range 42% England – 52% Germany). Many parents thought that a child’s ability to learn was very much . extremely dependent on diet (71% overall. range 64% Spain – 78% Hungary). but smaller proportions reported that they considered this (very much. extremely) when providing food for their child (51% overall. range 47% England and Hungary – 55 % Germany). Differences between views and reported behaviours of parents were smaller for other aspects of mental performance. Conclusions: Parents may belief that diet affects mental performance but other factors. such as providing variety and overall healthiness of diet. may be more important in the food choices they make for their children.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Egan, BUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gage, HUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Williams, PUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Raats, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Brands, BUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gyoerei, EUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lopez-Robles, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Campoy, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Koletzko, BUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Decsi, TUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 2011
Uncontrolled Keywords : Diet, Learning, Parents, Performance, Survey
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 28 Mar 2017 15:27
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/763170

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