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Korean J Community Nutr. 2001 May;6(2):150-161. Korean. Original Article.
Sung CJ , Sung MK , Choi MK , Kang YL , Kwon SJ , Kim MH , Seo YL , Adachi M , Mo SM .
Deaprtment of Food & Nutrition, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Human Nutrition & Food Service, Chungwoon University, Chungnam, Korea.
Kyung Bok Elelmentary School, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Foodservice Management, Paichiai University, Daejon, Korea.
Department of ecology of Human and Food, Kagawa Nutrition University, Sakado, Japan.
Department of Food & nutrition, Seoul, National University, Seoul, Korea.

The current socioeconomic climate has meant more children spend more time alone at home even for dining. This study was performed to characterize modem Korean childrens' food ecology based on mealtime atmosphere. A total of 705 elementary school students, 347 girls and 358 boys took part in the study. They were chosen evenly from the Seoul metropolitan areas, provincial cities, or rural areas, and were asked to fill out a questionnaire. The questionnaire was categorized to determine various factors related to food ecology, life styles, and health related symptoms. The average age of the study subjects was 11.5 years. The average height, weight, body mass index, and Rohrer index were 143.2 cm, 37.6 kg, 18.2 and 127.2 respectively. A significant number of children(39.2%) answered their bed time was between 11 and 12 pm. Only 28.3% answered that the whole family has breakfast together, and 47.7% have dinner together. A considerable number of children, 17.8% for breakfast and 6.9% for dinner, answered they eat alone. Most of the children answered they like to have dinner with the whole family. Half of the children answered they do not feel hungry before having breakfast. Proportions of children for their favorite meal time were 66.8%, and 25.4% and 7.8% for dinner, school lunch, and breakfast respectively. The largest proportions of children, 53.3% and 68.7%, have breakfast and dinner at home. Most of the children(75.2%) never purchase their dinner. Forty two% of the children answered they like school lunch, however, 60% of children answered they leave portions of lunch uneaten occasionally or always. Only 38.0% and 46.2% of the children have nutritionally adequate diet for breakfast and dinner. Children having more meals with the whole family possessed a more positive attitude towards breakfast compared to the children who eat with the whole family less frequently. In conclusion, Korea children are exposed to different health threatening food ecology problems related to changing environments, and consistent concern and support from community nutritionists are required.

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