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To evaluate a web-based nutritional knowledge questionnaire for primary-school children.
Children's nutritional knowledge was assessed in five domains: healthy choices (twenty-seven items), estimated recommended portions/servings (eight items), nutrient content (five items), main food function (five items) and categorization of food items (eight items).
The questionnaires were completed in school.
A convenience sample of 576 Belgian children (aged 7–12 years) from fourteen primary schools completed the questionnaire once, 386 completed the questionnaire twice.
Healthy choices could be answered correctly by 73 % of the children, nutrients by 59 %, food categorization by 49 %, main function by 38 % and portion estimation by 36 %. Children's test–retest intra-class correlations were 0·75 for healthy choices, 0·33 for nutrients, 0·61 for food categorization, 0·44 for main function, 0·47 for portion estimation and 0·76 for the total scale. The intra-class correlation was lower in the youngest age group (grade 2: 0·51, grade 4: 0·65, grade 6: 0·66). The total score was significantly lower in the retest. The instrument was in general positively evaluated by the children.
The instrument is a promising, practical, inexpensive tool with acceptable test–retest reliability in fourth and sixth graders.
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