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Views of parents in four European countries about the effect of food on the mental performance of primary school children

Gage, H, Egan, B, Williams, P, Gyoerei, E, Brands, B, Lopez-Robles, J-C, Campoy, C, Koletzko, B, Decsi, T and Raats, M (2014) Views of parents in four European countries about the effect of food on the mental performance of primary school children EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION, 68 (1). pp. 32-37.

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Abstract

Background/Objectives: Several factors affect the mental performance of children. The importance that parents attribute to food-related determinants, compared with genetic, socio-economic and school environment, was investigated. Subjects/Methods: Parents of school children (aged 4–11) were recruited through state primary schools in four European countries. Interviews were conducted in which participants were asked to sort 18 cards representing possible determinants of four elements of mental performance (attention, learning, mood and behaviour) according to perceived strength of effect. Determinants were identified from the literature and grouped in six categories: food-related, school environment, physical, social, psychological and biological. Effects were scored: 0=none; 1=moderate; and 2=strong. Views were compared between and within countries. Results: Two hundred parents took part (England: 53; Germany: 45; Hungary: 52; Spain: 50). Differences existed between countries in the proportions reporting university education and being in employment. Taking all countries together, parents consider the food category (mean 1.33) to have a lower impact on a child’s mental performance than physical (activity and sleep, 1.77), psychological (mood and behaviour, 1.69) and school environment (1.57). Social (1.12) and biological (0.91) determinants were ranked lower than food. Of determinants in the food category, parents thought regularity of meals had more influence on mental performance (1.58) than what a child eats now (1.36), food at school (1.35), nutrition as a baby/infant (1.02). Conclusion: Scope exists to improve parental awareness of the repercussions of their dietary choices for the mental performance of their children.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Economics
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Gage, HUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Egan, BUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Williams, PUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gyoerei, EUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Brands, BUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lopez-Robles, J-CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Campoy, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Koletzko, BUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Decsi, TUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Raats, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 1 January 2014
Identification Number : 10.1038/ejcn.2013.214
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2014 The Authors. Published by the Nature Publishing Group.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Nutrition & Dietetics, NUTRITION & DIETETICS, Food, mental performance, children, parents, European countries, NUTRITIONAL INFLUENCES, COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE, STUDENT PERFORMANCE, AGED CHILDREN, DIET, BEHAVIOR, NUTRIENTS, ATTITUDES, HEALTH, STATE
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 12 Aug 2016 14:05
Last Modified : 12 Aug 2016 14:05
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/811692

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