A population-based study of preschoolers' food neophobia and its associations with food preferences

Russell, Catherine Georgina and Worsley, Anthony 2008, A population-based study of preschoolers' food neophobia and its associations with food preferences, Journal of nutrition education and behavior, vol. 40, no. 1, January-February, pp. 11-19, doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2007.03.007.

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Title A population-based study of preschoolers' food neophobia and its associations with food preferences
Author(s) Russell, Catherine Georgina
Worsley, AnthonyORCID iD for Worsley, Anthony orcid.org/0000-0002-4635-6059
Journal name Journal of nutrition education and behavior
Volume number 40
Issue number 1
Season January-February
Start page 11
End page 19
Total pages 9
Publisher Decker
Place of publication Hamilton, Ont.
Publication date 2008-01
ISSN 1499-4046
Keyword(s) food likes
food neophobia
food preferences
Summary Objective: This cross-sectional study was designed to investigate the relationships between food preferences, food neophobia, and children’s characteristics among a population-based sample of preschoolers.

Design: A parent-report questionnaire.

Setting: Child-care centers, kindergartens, playgroups, day nurseries, and swimming centers.

Subjects: 371 two- to five-year-old Australian children.

Outcome Measures: Associations between food neophobia and the food preferences and characteristics.

Analysis: Analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, Pearson product-moment correlations, and Fisher z test were used to estimate and compare the associations between these variables.

Food neophobia was associated with reduced preferences for all food groups, but especially for vegetables (r = −0.60; P < .001). It was also associated with liking fewer food types (r = −0.55; P < .001), disliking more food types (r = 0.42; P < .001), the number of untried food types (r = 0.25; P < .001), a less varied range of food preferences (r = −0.59; P < .001), and less healthful food preferences overall (r = −0.55; P < .001). No significant relationships (P < .01) were observed between food neophobia and a child’s age, sex, or history of breast-feeding.

Conclusions: The study confirms and extends results obtained in experimental research and population-based intake studies of food neophobia to children’s everyday food preferences. The findings suggest that preschool children’s everyday food preferences are strongly associated with food neophobia but not with children’s age, sex, or history of breast-feeding. When aiming to influence children’s food preferences, the effects of food neophobia and strategies to reduce it should be considered.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.jneb.2007.03.007
Field of Research 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Society For Nutrition Education
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30035013

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