Assessment of nutritional knowledge, behaviour and BMI of Primary Care-Givers with children under the age of 18 years
Research suggests that parents feeding practices play a critical role in the development of children tastes, eating habits, nutrition and eventual weight status. Thus if parental feeding practices play such a critical role, the question arises as to whether there is a difference in parental feeding practices that determine different developments in children nutritional habits. Furthermore, feeding practices are possibly based on the nutritional knowledge of parents. The aim of this study was to assess the Body Mass Index (BMI), nutritional knowledge and behaviour of primary care-givers. This study followed the quantitative research paradigm. A sample of 147 staff members, who were primary care- givers of children at a University in the Western Cape was self-selected to participate in the study. Only primary care-givers of children were invited to participate. The primary care-givers were asked to complete two online questionnaires, the Comprehensive Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFPQ) developed by Musher-E-Eisenman and Holub (2007), and the General Nutritional Knowledge Questionnaire (GNKQ) for adults. Data analysis was done by means of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS17). Results indicated that the majority of participants were overweight (46% of the participants). Primary care-givers across all body mass index groups did not lack nutritional knowledge but variations in behaviour were found with regard to feeding practices. However similarities were found in the BMI categories in the areas of teaching about nutrition, pressure to eat at meal times and encouraging balance and variety.