Knowledge, attitude, practice, and barrier to pulses consumption among elementary school students of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
The prevalence of overweight and obesity has risen among children and adolescents in Canada since late 1970s. Although there has been a declining rate in obesity among children over the last few years, the disease burden associated with childhood obesity is still a concern. Intake of greater amount of high fat, high salt, and high sugar is one of the reasons for increasing obesity and overweight among children. Research supports that as a part of healthy diet, pulses can be beneficial for weight management and may reduce obesity among young generation as they contain low fat and high protein which is one of the solutions for achieving healthy weight. Considering the nutrient content of pulses, the researchers from the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan carefully designed Pulse Makes Perfect Sense (PMPS)- a pulse-based nutrition education intervention targeting the grade 4-8 students. The purpose of this study was to provide baseline information of the students participating PMPS intervention with regard to self-reported knowledge, attitude, practice and barrier to pulses consumption. A cross-sectional study was conducted in four Saskatoon schools randomly selected from a pool of schools that receive CHEP (Children Hunger and Education Program) Good Food Inc. provided lunch through their “Centralized Kitchen” program. Self-administered questionnaire was used to capture knowledge, attitude, practice, and barrier to pulses consumption from 247 students of grade 4-8, between ages 9 to 14 years. Approximately 48% participants were female and 47% were male. The remaining 5% choose not to report their gender. Half (50%) of the students correctly answered 10 out of 15 knowledge questions. Mean knowledge score was significantly higher in female than male students (p<.001). Although not significant, similar differences were observed in pulse consumption and attitude scores. The study did not find any association between higher knowledge score and pulse consumption. However, significant positive correlation was found between knowledge and attitude (r=0.241, p<.001), and pulses consumption and attitude (r=0.376, p<.001). Majority of the students (74.9%) believe that pulses are healthy food for growth and development of body. Furthermore, two thirds (64.4%) of the students conceded that they would eat pulses if their parents had served pulse-based dishes and about the same proportion (63.2%) of students believed that parents’ encouragement would make them eating pulses. Preference of other foods over pulses appeared as a barrier for not eating pulses reported by most of the students (30.8%). No significant difference in knowledge, attitude, practice and barrier was found between schools, grades and age groups of the students. This study was important because, to our knowledge, limited information was available in the literature around child-reported knowledge, practice, attitude, and barriers to pulses consumption. The information generated from this study can fill this evidence gap and may contribute in designing of interventions to promote healthy eating practice among children. Also, the questionnaire developed for this study could serve as the basis for designing future research tools.
Knowledge, attitude, practice, barrier, pulses, elementary school
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Pharmacy and Nutrition