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© Borgis - New Medicine 4/2010, s. 156-159
*Wojciech Chalcarz, Sylwia Merkiel
Nutritional knowledge of the preschool staff from Nowy Sącz and the vicinity. Part 4. The role of nutrients and principles of composing a diet
Food and Nutrition Department of the Eugeniusz Piasecki University School of Physical Education in Poznań
Head of the Department: dr hab. Wojciech Chalcarz, prof. nadzw. AWF
Summary
The aim of this study was to assess knowledge on the role of nutrients and principles of composing a diet in the preschool staff from Nowy Sącz and the vicinity.
The studied population was comprised of 84 women who were employed in eight preschools in Nowy Sącz and the vicinity.
The women filled in questionnaires on their knowledge about the role of nutrients in human body and the principles of composing a diet. Statistical analysis was carried out by means of the SPSS 12.0 PL for Windows computer programme. The studied population was divided according to education.
Education had statistically significant influence on the answers to five questions, including four questions concerning the role of nutrients and one question concerning the principles of composing a diet. The most correct answers, both those statistically significant and those insignificant, were given by the women with secondary education, and the least ? by the women with vocational education.
The level of knowledge on the role of nutrients in the preschool staff from Nowy Sącz and the vicinity was very low, especially among the women with vocational education, while the level of knowledge on the principles of composing a diet was sufficient. It is recommended to provide nutritional education to the preschool staff, especially those who are responsible for planning and preparing meals for children.
INTRODUCTION
Adequate knowledge on the role of nutrients and principles of composing a diet should be the basic requirement for those who apply for a post in a preschool connected with planning diets for children and preparing preschool meals. Moreover, knowledge in this field is important to preschool teachers, who should introduce nutritional issues into the preschool curriculum, but also to the head of the preschool, who is responsible, among other things, for organising nutrition in the preschool and for the education of preschoolers.
It has been reported that knowledge on the role of nutrients and principles of composing a diet among parents of preschool children is inadequate (1, 2). Nutritional knowledge of preschool staff has been assessed only in one population (3). In this study, Chalcarz et al. (3) analysed knowledge on general principles of nutrition during childhood, nutritional prevention of diet-related diseases and preparing meals.
AIM
The aim of this study was to assess knowledge on the role of nutrients and principles of composing a diet in the preschool staff from Nowy Sącz and the vicinity.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The studied population was comprised of 84 women who were employed in eight preschools in Nowy Sącz and the vicinity. The women filled in questionnaires on their knowledge about the role of nutrients in human body and the principles of composing a diet.
We used a similar questionnaire in our previous studies carried out on parents of preschool children from Pabianice (1), Nowy Sącz and the vicinity (2) and children and adolescents who practiced fencing (4, 5). Some of these questions were included in our studies on children who attended primary schools in Legnica-Głogów region (6), exhibitors on trade fair (7) and university students who followed a vegetarian diet (8).
We presented general characteristics of the studied preschool staff in our previous article (9).
Statistical analysis was carried out by means of the SPSS 12.0 PL for Windows computer programme.
The studied population was divided according to education. Qualitative variables were presented in contingency tables. Statistical significance was determined using Pearson?s chi-square test, except for the variables with more than 20% of cells with an expected frequency of less than five. In this case, the Kruskal-Wallis H test was used. The level of significance was set at p ? 0.05.
RESULTS
Table 1 shows the studied preschool staff?s correct answers to the questions concerning the role of nutrients and table 2 ? the studied preschool staff?s correct answers to the questions concerning the principles of composing a diet.
Table 1. The studied preschool staff?s correct answers to the questions concerning the role of nutrients (%).
No.Correct answersEducationAll staff (n=84)
Vocational (n=21)Secondary (n=33)Higher (n=30)
1.The primary role of protein is to build and maintain cellular structures95.2100.0100.098.8
2.The primary role of fat is to build and maintain cellular structures57.151.543.350.0
3.The primary role of carbohydrates is not to build and maintain cellular structures4.83.026.711.9
4.The primary role of dietary fibre is not to build and maintain cellular structures0.012.120.011.9
5.The primary role of minerals is to build and maintain cellular structures76.260.666.766.7
6.The primary role of vitamins is not to build and maintain cellular structures0.012.116.710.7
7.Protein is not the main source of energy0.09.113.38.3
8.Fat is the main source of energy66.784.880.078.6
9.Carbohydrates are the main source of energy81.087.990.086.9
10.Dietary fibre is not the main source of energy0.018.220.014.3
11.Minerals are not the main source of energy0.015.216.711.9
12.Vitamins are not the main source of energy0.012.116.710.7
13.The primary role of protein is to regulate metabolic processes76.248.550.056.0
14.The primary role of fat is not to regulate metabolic processes4.818.216.714.3
15.The primary role of carbohydrates is not to regulate metabolic processes0.09.13.34.8
16.The primary role of dietary fibre is to regulate metabolic processes71.469.753.364.3
17.The primary role of minerals is to regulate metabolic processes90.581.853.373.8
18.The primary role of vitamins is to regulate metabolic processes81.075.853.369.0
Bold type denotes statistically significant results (p ? 0.05).
Table 2. The studied preschool staff?s correct answers to the questions concerning the principles of composing a diet (%).
No.Correct answersEducationAll staff (n=84)
Vocational (n=21)Secondary (n=33)Higher (n=30)
1.Food intake in adults should provide energy for metabolic processes and daily energy expenditure85.7100.090.092.9
2.Food intake in adults should provide adequate energy from all macronutrients71.487.986.783.3
3.Energy intake in adults should not lead to a positive energy balance42.951.556.751.2
4.A balanced diet should provide adequate amount of energy61.987.986.781.0
5.A balanced diet should provide adequate amount of protein66.787.983.381.0
6.A balanced diet should provide adequate amount of fat61.975.860.066.7
7.A balanced diet should provide adequate amount of carbohydrates66.784.870.075.0
8.A balanced diet should provide adequate amount of dietary fibre66.781.870.073.8
9.A balanced diet should provide adequate amount of minerals71.484.880.079.8
10.A balanced diet should provide adequate amount of vitamins76.287.983.383.3
11.Protein do not provide more energy than fat33.348.540.041.7
12.Carbohydrates, protein and fat do not provide equal amounts of energy42.942.453.346.4
13.Carbohydrates provide equal amount of energy as protein4.86.16.76.0
Bold type denotes statistically significant results (p ? 0.05)
Education had statistically significant influence on the answers to five questions, including four questions concerning the role of nutrients and one question concerning the principles of composing a diet. The most correct answers, both those statistically significant and those insignificant, were given by the women with secondary education, and the least ? by the women with vocational education.
DISCUSSION
Knowledge about the role of nutrients
The level of knowledge on the role of nutrients among the studied preschool staff was more diverse than in the previous studies on parents of preschool children from Pabianice (1) and Nowy Sącz and the vicinity (2), as well as children and adolescents who practiced fencing (4, 5).
First of all, the very low level of knowledge in the staff with vocational education should be emphasised: not even one woman answered correctly to as many as seven questions. Such a low level of knowledge was never observed in previous studies (1, 2, 4, 5). In addition, the staff with vocational education were characterised by a far lower level of knowledge on both general principles of nutrition during childhood (9) and nutritional prevention of diet-related diseases (10). Their poor knowledge on the role of nutrients may be compared to their unawareness of rich dietary sources of vitamin C (11). Only to nine questions, the percentage of correct answers given by the staff with vocational education ranged from 57.1%, to the second question about the primary role of fat which is to build and maintain cellular structures, to 95.2%, to the first question about the primary role of protein which is to build and maintain cellular structures.
Much better knowledge was observed in the staff with secondary and higher education. From 50.0 to 100.0% of those women knew the correct answers to eight questions. The most difficult for all of the studied women, irrespective of their education, were those questions which required answer whether the primary role of carbohydrates, dietary fibre and vitamins is to build and maintain cellular structures, those questions which required answer whether protein, dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins are the main source of energy, as well as those questions which required answer whether the primary role of fat and carbohydrates is to regulate metabolic processes. Of course, the primary role of carbohydrates, dietary fibre and vitamins is not to build and maintain cellular structures, and protein, dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins are not the main sources of energy. Moreover, the primary role of fat and carbohydrates is not to regulate metabolic processes in human body (12). Low level of knowledge in this field was also reported in the previous studies on parents of preschoolers from Pabianice (1) and Nowy Sącz and the vicinity (2), as well as children and adolescents who practiced fencing (4, 5).
Knowledge about principles of composing a diet
The studied staff?s level of knowledge on the principles of composing a diet was much higher which was also observed in the previous studies on parents of preschoolers from Pabianice (1) and Nowy Sącz and the vicinity (2), children and adolescents who practiced fencing (4, 5), exhibitors on trade fair (7) and university students who followed a vegetarian diet (8). More than 50.0% of the studied preschool staff with vocational education answered correctly to nine questions, more than a half of the staff with secondary education ? to ten questions and more than 50.0% of the staff with higher education ? to eleven questions. The most difficult question for the studied women, irrespective of their education, was thirteenth question to which the correct answer was that carbohydrates provide equal amount of energy as protein (12).
This answer was given by only 6.0% of the studied population, therefore much less than among exhibitors on trade fair (7) and university students who followed a vegetarian diet (8) who provided 10.0% of correct answers. It was also a worse result than among parents of children from Pabianice, 11.3% of correct answers (1), children and adolescents who practiced fencing, 13.5% of correct answers (4), and parents of children from Nowy Sącz and the vicinity, 16.7% of correct answers (2).
CONCLUSIONS
1. The level of knowledge on the role of nutrients in the preschool staff from Nowy Sącz and the vicinity was very low, especially among the women with vocational education, while the level of knowledge on the principles of composing a diet was sufficient.
2. It is recommended to provide nutritional education to the preschool staff, especially those who are responsible for planning and preparing meals for children.
Piśmiennictwo
1. Chalcarz W, Hodyr Z: Wiedza żywieniowa rodziców dzieci w wieku przedszkolnym. Materiały X Jubileuszowej Międzynarodowej Konferencji Naukowej: Uwarunkowania środowiskowe zdrowia dzieci. Legnica 1-2 czerwca 2001; 117-121. 2. Merkiel S, Chalcarz W: Wiedza żywieniowa rodziców dzieci przedszkolnych z Nowego Sącza i okolic. 4. Rola składników pokarmowych i bilansowanie diety. Roczn PZH 2010; 61(4): 379-383.
3. Chalcarz W, Hodyr Z, Drabikowska-Śrama A: Wiedza żywieniowa pracowników przedszkoli. Nowa Med 1999; 6(7): 62-67. 4. Chalcarz W, Radzimirska-Graczyk M: Wiedza żywieniowa dzieci i młodzieży uprawiających szermierkę. II. Metaboliczne choroby cywilizacyjne i układanie jadłospisu. Referat przedstawiony w sekcji posterowej podczas XII Międzynarodowej Konferencji Naukowej: Uwarunkowania środowiskowe zdrowia dzieci. Legnica 1-2 czerwca 2003 roku. 5. Chalcarz W, Radzimirska-Graczyk M, Janczewski M: General nutritional knowledge in children and adolescents practicing fencing. New Med (Wars) 2004; 7(1): 8-11. 6. Chalcarz W et al.: Wpływ wybranych czynników środowiskowych na wiedzę żywieniową dzieci z Zagłębia Legnicko-Głogowskiego. Konferencja Naukowa: Dziecko w skażonym środowisku-problemy ekologiczne i zdrowotne. Legnica 6 do 8 czerwca 1997. Materiały z konferencji, 231-239. 7. Chalcarz W al.: Wpływ wybranych czynników na wiedzę żywieniową wystawców targowych. Materiały Konferencji zorganizowanej przez Koordynatora Lokalnego Zdrowych Miast w Gdańsku, Gdańsk 24-25 listopada 1997; 21-38.
8.
Chalcarz W et al.: Ocena wiedzy żywieniowej studentów stosujących dietę wegetariańską. Żywienie a zdrowie. Materiały Konferencji zorganizowanej przez Koordynatora Lokalnego Zdrowych Miast w Gdańsku, Gdańsk 24-25 listopada 1997; 45-51. 9. Merkiel S, Chalcarz W: Nutritional knowledge of the preschool staff from Nowy Sącz and the vicinity. Part 1. General principles of nutrition during childhood. New Med (Wars) 2010; 14(2): 44-48. 10. Merkiel S, Chalcarz W: Nutritional knowledge of the preschool staff from Nowy Sącz and the vicinity. Part 2. Nutritional prevention of diet-related diseases. New Med (Wars) 2010; 14(2): 49-52.
11. Chalcarz W, Merkiel S: Nutritional knowledge of the preschool staff from Nowy Sącz and the vicinity. Part 3. Rich sources of vitamins and minerals. New Med (Wars) 2010; 14(3): 79-83. 12. Jarosz M, Bułhak-Jachymczyk B (red.): Normy Żywienia człowieka. Podstawy prewencji otyłości i chorób niezakaźnych. Wydawnictwo Lekarskie PZWL, Warszawa 2008.
otrzymano: 2010-11-10
zaakceptowano do druku: 2010-12-15

Adres do korespondencji:
*Wojciech Chalcarz
Zakład Żywności i Żywienia
Akademii Wychowania Fizycznego w Poznaniu
ul. Droga Dębińska 7, 61-555 Poznań
tel.: +48 61 835 52 87
e-mail: chalcarz@awf.poznan.pl

New Medicine 4/2010
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