An examination of the association between self-reported Canada’s Food Guide servings consumed and food safety knowledge, attitudes, and practices in Ontario high school students
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Introduction: Two food-related issues that are of concern in Canada are healthy eating and foodborne illness. A majority of students do not eat according to the recommendations outlined in Canada’s Food Guide and foodborne illness is a costly, frequent, and preventable public health issue, often associated with poor food safety practices. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the potential association between self-reported Canada’s Food Guide servings consumed and food safety knowledge, attitudes, and practices in Ontario high school students. Methods: This secondary data analysis involved healthy eating and food safety data linked at the individual level by the COMPASS team, which included survey responses from 2860 high school students, aged thirteen to eighteen years, from four participating COMPASS schools during the 2014-2015 school year. Food safety knowledge dependent variables (4) were analyzed using logistic regression. Food attitude (6), food safety practice (3), and Canada’s Food Guide use (1) dependent variables were analyzed using ordinal regression. Results were used to determine if there were any significant associations between the dependent variables and the number of Canada’s Food Guide servings consumed by food group and when summed for a composite score, while adjusting for age, sex, food insecurity, school, currently working or volunteering at a restaurant, deli, other food service location, currently working or volunteering in a hospital, and having taken a course where they were taught how to prepare food or meals. Results: There were no statistically significant associations between students’ consumption of any food group and their knowledge of proper hand washing (p>0.05). Students who had a higher composite food group serving total (p=0.01) had significantly greater odds of knowing the proper way to prevent food poisoning than those who had a lower composite food group serving total. Students who consumed more fruits and vegetables (p=0.01) had significantly greater odds of knowing the proper way to check if a hamburger was cooked enough, and students’ who ate more servings of milk and alternatives (p=0.04), had lower odds of knowing what a microorganism was, than those who ate less servings. Students who ate more fruit and vegetables (p<0.0001-0.001) and had a greater composite food group serving total (p<0.0001-0.01) had greater odds of positive food safety attitudes for all dependent variables, excluding students’ reported concerns about food allergies and food poisoning. Students who ate more fruit and vegetables (p<0.0001-0.002) and had a greater composite food group serving total (p=0.001-0.02) reported proper food safety practices more frequently for all dependent variables, while students who ate more grains (p=0.002) and milk and alternatives (p=0.02-0.04) reported proper food safety practices less often. Students who ate more fruits and vegetables (p<0.0001), milk and alternatives (p=0.009), and had a greater composite food group serving total (p<0.0001) had greater odds of frequently using Canada’s Food Guide. Conclusion: Overall, food safety knowledge and attitudes were not associated with healthy eating, with three exceptions each. Additionally, there were some sporadic associations between the frequency of proper food safety practices and the frequency of Canada’s Food Guide use and healthy eating, respectively.
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Danielle Tuori (2018). An examination of the association between self-reported Canada’s Food Guide servings consumed and food safety knowledge, attitudes, and practices in Ontario high school students. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/14283
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