Preference of Food Intake among Basic School Children Aged (8-13) Years Case Study: Ahfad Basic School (Omdurman)

By Eglal, Mohildin; Nafisa, Badri | Ahfad Journal, June 2009 | Go to article overview

Preference of Food Intake among Basic School Children Aged (8-13) Years Case Study: Ahfad Basic School (Omdurman)


Eglal, Mohildin, Nafisa, Badri, Ahfad Journal


Abstract

This research aimed to investigate the likes and dislikes of food eating by the school children age (8-13) years and the factors that affect their food preference.

The research was conducted in one basic school as a case study. The school chosen for this study is a private one and part of Ahfad institution.

Fifty five pupils of both sexes and from grades 3 -7 in the school were enrolled in this investigation. Of the participants, 30 were girls and 25 were boys. The study utilized secondary data and primary data. Primary data was collected through interview using a questionnaire and focus group discussions using pictures.

The food items that were mostly liked by pupils were fast food and fruits. The least liked foods were traditional snacks and they did not like: vegetables and traditional snacks. The findings concluded that the factors that affect the preference of food intake of school children were parent's Knowledge and attitudes towards food intake were affected by parent's knowledge,-peers influence, TV advertisement and sensory characteristics of foods. The study recommended further researches in this area.

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Introduction

Nutrition is the science of nourishment; is the study of nutrients, their digestion, absorption, transport, metabolism, interaction, storage and excretion. Good nutrition and proper food are essential for physical growth, survival and mental development (Brown, 1999, Ahmed and Ismail, 2001).

The population of the developing countries consists of a high percentage of young people, with those under the age of 15 comprising 45% of the total population. Primary school children constitute the majority of this percentage (Washi, 1992, Cameron and Hovander, 1983, Ebrahim, 1990). In Sudan the population under 15 years of age comprising 42.04% of the total population (UNFPA, 2003, UNICEF, 2000).

Good nutrition is very important for physical and mental development of children and is fundamental for their future. Under- nutrition has been shown to slow their growth and maturation. Therefore, it is important to monitor the nutritional status of children during school age, as this period is a preparatory period for adolescence (Ahmed, 2003).

Many nutrition and health surveys focused on preschool children, and young school aged children has generally received little attention. However, good health and nutritional status are important for this age group as well. The common nutritional problem in the school age years arise from poor food choices including inadequate calcium intake, iron deficiency anemia and excessive saturated fat intake because changes occur so rapidly during these years and in so many aspects are associated with psychological, social and physical changes.

Moreover, poor health and nutritional status among this age group may contribute to high rates of school absenteeism and poor classroom performance (Ebrahim, 1990). Considering the fact that most studies about children dietary behavior is examined through mothers or care -gives, this study is going to explore such habits directly from the children's perspective.

Up-to-date, very little published information is available about the nutritional status and behavior of primary school children in Sudan. According to the Nutrition Department, Khartoum State Ministry of Health, the data available on the nutritional status and behavior of children among this age group is rather limited. Most of the work done in this department is directed towards children less than five years of age.

This research is an attempt to fill some of the gaps in data and will provide information for the first time about the preference of food intake among the primary school children in Omdurman.

Objectives:--

General Objective:--

To identify the preference of food intake among school children aged 8-13 years in Omdurman School. …

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