University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Effect of food on learning: views of parents in four European countries

Gyoerei, E, Egan, B, Gage, Heather, Williams, P, Raats, M, Brands, B, Lopez-Robles, J, Campoy, C, Koletzko, B and Decsi, T (2011) Effect of food on learning: views of parents in four European countries In: 11th European Nutrition Conference (FENS), 2011-10-26 - 2011-10-29, Madrid, Spain.

[img] Text (licence)
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (33kB)


Introduction: Nutrition is one of many factors influencing a child’s learning abilitiy. Objectives: This study aims to assess parents’ views on the effect of food on children’s ability to learn in four European countries (England, Germany, Hungary, Spain). Method. Design: Parents of children aged 4 to 10 years were recruited through state elementary schools. Participants were asked to sort 18 cards representing possible determinants of learning (in 6 categories: 4 food related, 3 educational, 2 physical, 4 social, 2 psychological, 3 biological) according to their views about strength of effect. Determinants were identified from the literature. Effects were scored: 0=none; 1=moderate; 2=strong. Results: 201 parents took part. There were no significant differences among countries in age, gender, number of children of participants. Higher proportions of parents in England and Germany had received university education than in the other countries (p=0.015); significantly fewer parents in Spain were in employment (p<0.001). Taking all countries together, respondents felt that physical (sleep and activity), psychological (mood and behavior) and educational (class size, teaching quality, school discipline) determinants had the largest effects on learning (means 1.72, 1.71, 1.63, respectively). Social (birth order, income, parent’s education, stimulation at home) and biological determinants (birth weight, IQ, genetic factors) had the lowest effect (1.20, 1.06). Food determinants were ranked 4th out of 6 categories (mean 1.34). Within the food category, regular meals (and nutrition as a baby) are the most (and least) important determinants (1.59, 1.06, respectively). Food at school (1.37) and a child’s current diet (1.36) were intermediate. Responses from parents in Spain on some food determinants differed significantly from those of parents in the other countries. Conclusions: Parents do not perceive food as a major determinant of learning in children; better formulated and targeted communication with parents is needed. Supported by the European Communities 7th Framework Programme (NUTRIMENTHE Grant agreement number: 212652).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Gyoerei, E
Egan, B
Williams, P
Raats, M
Brands, B
Lopez-Robles, J
Campoy, C
Koletzko, B
Decsi, T
Date : 2011
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 01 Aug 2018 09:05

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800