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P078 Effects of Shokuiku and Current Eating and Lifestyle Behaviors on Well-Balanced Dietary Habits in Japanese University Students

      Background

      School-aged Japanese children receive shokuiku (food and nutrition education) to encourage them to eat well-balanced diets [cereal grains (shushoku), proteins (shusai), vegetables (fukusai)]. However, few young adults regularly eat well-balanced diets.

      Objective

      To examine the causal structure of the effects of school shokuiku on young adults’ dietary habits and the association of current eating and lifestyle behaviors.

      Study Design, Setting, and Participants

      The subjects were 148 female university students (48.6% living alone) among 161 who completed a 2020 self-administered questionnaire (99.4% response rate) in a cross-sectional study of first- to fourth-year nutrition course students in Hyogo Prefecture.

      Outcome Measures and Analysis

      A hypothetical model was developed using factors potentially associated with well-balanced dietary habits (twice daily or more), including school shokuiku (three variables: past conversation about dietary balance consisting of the “three food groups”; major nutrients; and importance of breakfast) and current eating and lifestyle behaviors as limiting factors. A covariance structure analysis was performed by living arrangement (living alone or with family).

      Results

      Simultaneous multi-population analysis by living arrangement showed acceptable goodness of fit (GFI = 0.918, AGFI = 0.852, CFI = 0.966, RMSEA = 0.040, AIC = 113.168) and a significant positive path from school shokuiku (living alone: standardized estimate 0.29, P = 0.004; with family: 0.32, P = 0.006) and a negative path from eating-out frequency (–0.19, P = 0.039; –0.24, P = 0.017) toward well-balanced dietary habits. A significant negative path was identified from bedtime (–0.45, P < 0.001) and home-meal replacement (ready-to-eat foods) frequency (–0.24, P = 0.010) in those living alone, and from late-night snacking frequency (–0.27, P = 0.007) if living with family.

      Conclusions

      Well-balanced dietary habits in female university students may be positively affected by school shokuiku and limited by late bedtime and home-meal replacement use if living alone and late-night snacking if living with family, plus by eating out.

      Funding

      None

      SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

      Supplementary data related to this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.04.118.

      Appendix. SUPPLEMENTARY DATA