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In the Netherlands, a supplementation of 10 μg vitamin D is recommended for children (aged 0–4 years), given that vitamin D contributes to the development of healthy bones and deficiency during childhood is a risk factor for osteoporosis at a later age. However, only 60 % of the Dutch children receive sufficient vitamin D supplementation a day. In order to develop interventions to improve supplementation intake, it is necessary to gain insight into the behaviour of parents in giving their children vitamin D supplementation and its association with variables of the Theory of Planned Behaviour, moral and descriptive norms and habits.
A cross-sectional survey to assess present supplementation-related behaviour, knowledge, received information, intention, attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, moral norm, descriptive norm and habit.
Data obtained from a representative Internet Panel by means of electronic questionnaires.
Parents (n 270) of children aged 0–4 years.
Half of the parents (48·9 %) gave their child sufficient vitamin D supplementation. Giving the supplement at a fixed time, a positive intention and habit were significantly associated with actual behaviour. The higher age of the child, first-born status, a fixed time for taking vitamin supplementation, descriptive norm and moral obligation were significantly associated with intention.
These results indicate that because many parents do not give their children adequate vitamin D supplementation, the promotion of supplementation during the first years of life is a necessity. Effective yet simple strategies should be developed, focused on improving moral obligation, descriptive norms and habit formation.
To measure the effects of two school-based interventions on children's intake of fruit and vegetables (F&V).
Design and methods
A total of six primary schools were randomly assigned to (1) a free F&V distribution programme, or (2) a multicomponent programme, consisting of a classroom curriculum and parental involvement. The two interventions were evaluated on their effects and compared with six control schools in a pre-test–post-test design. Two methods were used for dietary assessment: a pre-structured food recall and a food-frequency questionnaire including only F&V.
A total of 939 parents of children aged 4–12 years filled out the questionnaire at both pre-test and post-test. The response rate was 54%.
Multilevel analyses showed that both programmes were equally effective in increasing children's fruit consumption by 0.2 portions per day. The free F&V distribution increased vegetable intake among non-native children and the oldest age group, and the multicomponent programme among the oldest children and girls. The distribution also caused an increased 24 h fruit, juice and vegetable intake among the youngest and the oldest age groups, and the multicomponent programme among all children.
The results of this study indicate that both interventions were shown to be effective for different subgroups regarding age, gender and ethnicity. When comparing both interventions, the distribution programme was shown to be more effective, especially in increasing vegetable consumption. An important next step will be to investigate which intervention has the greatest potential to be implemented in primary schools.
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