Food Choice, Nutrition Education and Parental Influence on British and Korean Primary School Children

10 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2004

See all articles by Fiona S.W. McCullough

Fiona S.W. McCullough

University of Nottingham

Seunghee Yoo

Manchester Metropolitan University

Paul Ainsworth



The nutritional status of children can influence their health and the risk factors for developing chronic diseases later in life. Korea is unique in that it is relatively westernized and yet maintains much of the traditional foods and cooking methods. Effective nutrition education should help children to choose a healthy diet through the establishment of positive dietary practices and habits. The main purpose of this research is to compare awareness towards nutrition education between primary schools in the UK and Korea and nutritional knowledge that children and parents have in these countries. Dietary and healthy eating knowledge data were collected by a questionnaire as part of a case study comparison using one primary school in Manchester, UK, and one in Seoul, Korea. A total of 171 primary school children and 124 parents of the children were recruited. The results indicated that children and parents appeared to be aware of the importance of limiting fat, sodium and sugar intakes, and requiring non-starch polysaccharide (NSP). However, in the case of some foods they did not have satisfactory nutritional knowledge of which foods were high in fat, salt, sugar and NSP. British children had a better understanding of the health implication of fat than Korean children, whereas more Korean children considered excessive salt intake harmful than British children. There seemed to be differences in dietary pattern and familiarity with food between the two countries. Children identified parents as the main source of nutritional information. Therefore, parents as well as children need to learn about nutrition in order to give appropriate information or advice to improve the diets of their children. Children preferred exciting, fun, positive and a practical approach to learning about nutrition, such as computer packages and cookery classes. Parents wanted schools to give their children more information about nutrition. This research has shown that nutrition education in schools should be concerned not only to provide nutritional knowledge but also to encourage children to choose healthy food by redesigning nutrition education and school meals.

Suggested Citation

McCullough, Fiona S.W. and Yoo, Seunghee and Ainsworth, Paul, Food Choice, Nutrition Education and Parental Influence on British and Korean Primary School Children. Available at SSRN:

Fiona S.W. McCullough (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Seunghee Yoo

Manchester Metropolitan University

All Saints
Manchester, M15 6BH
United Kingdom

Paul Ainsworth

Independent ( email )

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