Nutrition knowledge and food choice among black students in South Africa
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Objectives: To investigate the relationship between nutrition knowledge and dietary behaviour, and to assess the perceived influences on food selection among Black students in South Africa. Design: Cross sectional study. Setting: University of the North and two semi-urban Secondary Schools. Subjects: 213 second year social science university students, 104 (48.2%) male and 112 (51.9%) female, and 199 Grade 11 secondary school students, 67 male (32.7%) and 132 female (66.3%). Main Outcome Measures: A General Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire and a Food Choice Questionnaire. Results: Generally, students seemed to have below average nutrition knowledge levels. University students had significantly more nutrition knowledge than secondary school students. Dietary recommendations were associated with source of nutrients and diet-disease relationships, and sources of nutrients were associated with diet-disease relationships. Choosing everyday foods was not associated with dietary recommendations, source of nutrients, and diet-disease relationships. Among both university and secondary school students the three highest food choice factors included health, sensory appeal and mood.