Assessment of Nutrition Knowledge of Parents of Elementary School-aged Children to Enhance Obesity Knowledge and Prevention

Laurie Kinchen, April McIntyre, Troy Hidalgo


Dietary intake has been linked to numerous diseases and comorbid conditions. Assessing nutritional knowledge is important to determine educational focus areas so that interventions and the need for additional research can be determined. The purpose of this descriptive study was to assess the nutritional knowledge of parents of elementary-aged school children by using the General Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire (GNKQ). A descriptive design using a purposive sample of elementary-aged children's parents at an elementary school in Southeastern Louisiana was used for this study. The questionnaire was sent home with each student at the school (N = 574). Parents were instructed that participation was voluntary and that they should return the questionnaire, in the envelope provided, whether they chose to complete it or not. Only fully completed surveys were used for data analysis. A total of 146 questionnaires were returned with 36 being discarded due to incompletion.  110 completed questionnaires were used for this analysis, yielding a 19% return rate.

The average age range of participants was from 25-34 (50.9%; n=56), with the majority being female (90.9%; n=100), married (70.0%; n=77), employed full time (50.9%; n=56) with a high school education (41.8%; n=46). No strong correlation existed between variables. However, some mild correlations were present (See Table 4). Overall, a knowledge deficit was present in parental nutrition knowledge. As the epidemic of childhood obesity continues to rise, something must be done to combat the problem. Using future research in the area of parental knowledge of nutrition, interventions can be tailored directly to parents.


nutrition; knowledge; school-aged children; obesity; healthy diet; Body mass index.

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