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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mixed foods are similarly categorized by 8-13 year old children

item Beltran, Alicia
item Knight Sepulveda, Karina
item Watson, Kathy
item Baranowski, Thomas
item Baranowski, Janice
item Islam, Noemi
item Missaghian, Mariam

Submitted to: Appetite
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/22/2007
Publication Date: 3/1/2008
Citation: Beltran, A., Knight Sepulveda, K., Watson, K., Baranowski, T., Baranowski, J., Islam, N., Missaghian, M. 2008. Mixed foods are similarly categorized by 8-13 year old children. Appetite. 50:316-324.

Interpretive Summary: This study assessed how 8- to 13-year-old children categorized 48 mixed foods (e.g., lasagna, pizza) and labeled those categories. A set of 10 common categories captured most of how children categorized the foods. The children most commonly (26%) used categories that reflected a food group. These categories will be used in a subsequent study to see if they facilitate the more accurate and quickest categorization of foods.

Technical Abstract: Food search in a computerized 24-h dietary recall (24hdr) for children should be easiest when the categories reflect children's categorization of foods, in contrast to professional categories. This study assessed how 8- to 13-year-old children categorized and labeled mixed foods (e.g., fried rice, lasagna), and how these were influenced by child characteristics. A set of 48 cards with pictures and names of mixed foods from 14 professionally defined food groups was sorted by each child into piles of similar foods. Participants (n=146), including 8- to 13-year-old children (130 English speaking and 16 Spanish speaking), attended data collection in the summer 2006. One-way ANOVA, pairwise comparisons, and Robinson matrices for identification of clusters were used. Children created an average of 10.5 (+/-5.5) piles with 6.0 (+/-4.1) cards per pile. No substantial differences in Robinson clustering were detected across subcategories for each of the demographic characteristics, body mass index, or 6-n-propylthiouracil sensitivity. For the majority of the piles, children provided "taxonomic-professional" (26.0%) labels, such as vegetables, sandwiches and drinks, or "specific-food item" (23.0%) labels, i.e., the name of the food. These categories may be used to facilitate mixed food search in a computerized 24hdr for children in this age group.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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