Mal J Nutr 22(1): 17 - 28, 2016

Influence of Age and Education on Nutritional Knowledge and Dietary Choices among Chinese Consumers in Shenyang, China
Roseline Love MacArthur1, Yue Hua Wang 2 & Xuqiao Feng2

1 College of Food Science, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, PR China
2 Food Science Research Institute of Bohai University, Food Safety Key Lab of Liaoning Province Jinzhou, PR China

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Consumers seldom pay attention to the nutritional aspects of food during purchasing. The study examined the influence of age and level of education on the nutrition knowledge and dietary choices of a sample of Chinese consumers. Methods: Probability and non-probability sampling methods were used to select four supermarkets and subjects for this cross-sectional descriptive survey conducted in Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning Province in China. A response rate of 95.9% was obtained after retrieving 400 questionnaires out of 417 distributed. Results: About two-thirds (615%) of the respondents rated their nutrition knowledge level as "fair". Independent t-test revealed a significant age difference in knowledge levels (t (398) = 5.467, p < 0.01 (two-tailed)] with 7.0% (eta square (re) = 0.070) of the variance in nutritional knowledge explained by age groups. Significant differences (p < 0.01) in knowledge level jF (2, 397) = 7.765, p = 0.00] were also observed among the three educational groups using one-way ANOVA, with nutritional knowledge accounting for 19.1% (eta square (re) = 0.191) of the variance. However, age and level of education did not present any significant influence on the respondents' food choices. The results suggest that nutrition knowledge increased with age and level of education, but did not sufficiently affect food choices. Conclusion: Supportive nutrition education on use of label information complemented with practical use of such information may augment nutrition knowledge and assist consumers to make healthy food choices.

Age, China, consumers, education, nutrition knowledge

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