Objective: The purpose of this six-year follow-up study was to clarify developmental changes in children's food balance during breakfast, lifestyle, and indefinite complaints in elementary school. Furthermore, we studied how children's lifestyle and indefinite complaints were related to food balance during breakfast.
Methods: The subjects were recruited in 2011 from among first graders (n=91), and follow-up surveys were carried out every year for six years.
Results: The percentage of children who skipped breakfast was 3–5% for grades 1–4 and 11–14% for grades 5 and 6. The percentage of children who ate meals with adults decreased with higher grade levels. Furthermore, a balance of grain, fish and meat, and vegetable dishes for breakfast was followed most by first-graders, while the eating of "only staple foods" increased in the upper grades. With regard to wake-up times and getting up by themselves, the improvement in the upper grades was not remarkable. Among sixth-graders, 53% went to bed after 22:00 hours, 90% felt tired, and 63% felt that school was "unpleasant." Food balance during breakfast was related to wake-up times, bedtimes, co-eating, help received, fatigue, and dislike of school.
Conclusions: The study suggests that active intervention is needed in lower grades to establish a desirable lifestyle and in upper grades to reeducate students about the importance of breakfast and good sleep, and to support them regarding their indefinite complaints.
Objective: This study aimed to examine the associations between household income and dietary conditions among Japanese parents of elementary school students, including their access to food.
Methods: A total of 1,231 parents of fifth-grade children (aged 10–11 years) who attended 1 of 19 elementary schools located in 4 districts (6 municipalities) within 4 prefectures in East Japan agreed to participate in this study and responded to a questionnaire survey. Data from 920 questionnaires were analyzed. Data were analyzed in two groups based on household income: the low-income group (below the poverty line) and the high-income group (above the poverty line). Chi-squared and Fisher's exact tests were used to analyze the associations between household income and frequency of having breakfast, frequency of preparing food at home, food items on children's diet, procured food items, perceived leisure time, and whether the child rearing was communal. Subsequently, a binominal logistic regression analysis was performed for aspects regarded as target variables and household income as the explanatory variable.
Results: Multivariate analysis revealed that parents in the low-income group had little knowledge about food, including the size and balance of an adequate meal to maintain children's health. They also experienced difficulties in obtaining fresh foods and meeting all their food needs because of financial reasons or shopping inconveniences. Compared with parents in the high-income group, these parents had less leisure time.
Conclusions: Our study revealed that when household income was below the poverty line, parents of elementary school students were more likely to have little knowledge of food to maintain children's health and more likely to experience difficulty in obtaining food because of financial reasons or inconveniences in shopping. These parents also lacked leisure time.
Objective: Health programs that include content on nutrition were added to the new education curriculum in the Philippines in 2016; however, the teaching materials have not been entirely effective. The aim of this study was to implement our nutrition class in an elementary school in cooperation with Japanese nutrition teacher students and Philippine teachers, in order to promote nutrition education.
Methods: The Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle was employed: Plan: We conducted literature and field surveys in Tagbilaran City, Bohol Province, the Philippines, and after identifying the nutritional issues, we determined that "balanced diets" was a priority. Next, we developed teaching plans and materials in English, which were discussed and modified. Then we conducted staff training. Do: We conducted a nutrition class in a public elementary school, using the original teaching material named "3G Foods". Thirty-two second graders took the class. Check (process and impact evaluation): After the class, we examined the extent of satisfaction and understanding among the students using worksheets and questionnaires, and observers, such as the teachers and Japan International Cooperation Agency volunteers, evaluated the class. Act: The results of the evaluation were shared with officials.
Results: All the children were satisfied with the class, and 91% of their answers on the worksheet were correct. Results of observer evaluations indicated that the class was appropriate in terms of new curriculum and children's levels of utilization.
Conclusion: Implementation of our class may contribute to the promotion of nutrition education in Philippine elementary schools.
Purpose: We conducted short lessons on drinking milk for junior high school students and examined the changes in their awareness (knowledge and understanding) and willingness to drink milk.
Method: We conducted short lessons (hereinafter referred to as "3-minute lessons") for 561 first-year junior high school students from August to September 2017. We used the verbal teaching method, which makes the lessons easy to conduct during school lunch breaks. After the lessons, we surveyed students' knowledge and understanding of school lunch milk using a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of seven specific questions and additional open-ended questions. We then examined the data by gender using an χ2 test for the seven questions and the Kawakita Jiro method for the open-ended questions.
Results: After the 3-minute lessons, 89.3% of the boys and 93.5% of the girls demonstrated increased knowledge about school lunch milk, and 90.4% of the boys and 93.8% of the girls wished to learn more about drinking milk. The results also showed that 85.6% of the boys and 73.5% of the girls wanted to continue drinking milk every day.
Conclusion: We observed an increase in the knowledge about school lunch milk among the first-year junior high school students after the 3-minute lessons were conducted, but were unable to ascertain any effects of the lessons in terms of increasing the students' willingness to continue drinking milk daily. However, many of the students had an interest in continuing the 3-minute lessons, which shows the necessity to examine the relationship between continuous education on milk and changes in awareness of drinking milk, including changes in the willingness to drink milk.
Objective: This study aimed to assess consumer food attitudes and demographic characteristics in relation to nutrition label use and understanding, focusing on nutrition label numeracy.
Methods: Data from the "Consumer Affairs Agency Public Finance Project: Consumers' Reading of Nutrition Labels" conducted in 2014 were used. A total of 4,623 people who completely answered all questions were included in the study. Participants were categorized into the following three groups: "reference and understanding," "reference and non-understanding," and "non-reference." The demographics of the three groups were compared using the chi-square test, and the motivation for food choice was compared by multinomial logistic regression analysis adjusted for demographics.
Results: There were 1,889 people (40.9%) in the "reference and understanding" group, 1,105 people (23.9%) in the "reference and non-understanding" group, and 1,629 people (35.2%) in the "non-reference" group. People in the "reference and non-understanding" group were more likely to be women, aged over 60 years, and have less education. With regard to motivation for food choice, those in the "reference and non-understanding" group were more likely to prefer foods low in calories compared with the "reference and understanding" group (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 1.33 [1.14~1.56]). However, they were less likely to consider deliciousness than the "reference and understanding" group (0.47 [0.32~0.68]).
Conclusions: Even in Japan, where many people have excellent numeracy skills, it is difficult for people to understand nutrition labels. In addition to investigating the level of understanding of nutrition labels, education is needed to improve label reading skills and raise awareness of the overall value of food, including deliciousness.