Nutrition education discouraging sugar intake results in higher nutrient density in diets of pre-school children

  • Yeom, Ma-Young (Department of Food and Nutrition, Duksung Women's University) ;
  • Cho, Youn-Ok (Department of Food and Nutrition, Duksung Women's University)
  • Received : 2019.04.29
  • Accepted : 2019.08.20
  • Published : 2019.10.01


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The intake of sugar has increased worldwide, and it is well established that childhood experiences and food preferences affect lifelong eating habits. To discourage sugar intake, nutrition education was imparted, and the effectiveness of the nutrition education program was investigated by considering the nutrient density and major dietary sources of sugar intake. SUBJECTS/METHODS: Twenty four-hour dietary recall and sugar intake frequency of 96 pre-school children (educated n = 47; non-educated n = 49) were collected on 3 consecutive days (1 weekend day, 2 weekdays) after 11 weeks of imparting nutrition education. Dietary intake of nutrients and total sugar were analyzed, and the intake frequency of sugar source foods were identified. All nutrition education programs were focused on a hands-on education program, and consisted of cooking lab, play, activity, animation, and visual materials. The difference between the two groups was verified by the Chi-square test or t-test. All statistical analysis was performed with significance level at P < 0.05. RESULTS: Compared to the non-educated group, the intakes of protein (P < 0.001), fiber (P < 0.01), potassium (P < 0.05), iron (P < 0.05), zinc (P < 0.05), and iodine (P < 0.001) were significantly higher, and the intakes of carbohydrate (P < 0.01) and total sugar (P < 0.05) were significantly lower in the educated group. The cumulative percent of sugar intake of top 20 sugar source foods in the educated group (82.80%) was lower than that of the non-educated group (85.75%). The contribution of beverages on total sugar intake was lower in the educated group. The average frequency of consuming sugary foods was significantly lower in the educated group (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that nutrition education on discouraging sugar intake is effective in reducing the amount of total sugar consumed, resulting higher nutrient density in the diets of pre-school children.


Nutrition education;sugar intake;nutrient density;sugar source


Supported by : Duksung Women's University


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