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Taste education reduces food neophobia and increases willingness to try novel foods in school children

  • Park, Bo-Kyung (Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Cho, Mi-Sook (Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University)
  • Received : 2015.04.24
  • Accepted : 2015.10.01
  • Published : 2016.04.01

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: This study measured the effects of a taste education program developed in Korea on food neophobia and willingness to try novel foods in school children. SUBJECTS/METHODS: One-hundred and twenty school children (aged 7-9 years) residing in Seoul participated in 12 sessions of a taste education program for 3 months. The Korean taste education program was adapted from "Les classes du gout" by J. Puisais and modified to suit a Korean education environment. The study subjected school children to pre- and post-programs on food neophobia and willingness to try novel foods (WTNF), in addition to children's food neophobia in their parents. A total of 101 survey data were analyzed using SPSS 18.0. RESULTS: Regarding the effects of taste education, scores of food neophobia significantly decreased (P < 0.01) in the posttest, mean (m) score ($4.10{\pm}1.19$) decreased compared to the pretest ($4.39{\pm}1.00$), and WTNF significantly increased (P < 0.001) in the pretest (m) score ($0.48{\pm}0.33$) compared to the pretest ($0.32{\pm}0.34$). This result indicates verification of the study hypothesis. CONCLUSIONS: Food neophobia scale (FNS), an index that measures personal food preference [1,2], showed a very weak correlation with behavioral willingness to taste novel foods (WTNF). Therefore, it is expected that the two scales measure different things. However, considering that the traits of food neophobia are not easily changed, the taste education program was administered in a remarkably effective manner.

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