versión On-line ISSN 1852-7337
JIMENEZ, MJ et al. Evaluation of educational interventions in the university community's knowledge and opinion on functional foods. Diaeta [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.132, pp. 23-28. ISSN 1852-7337.
Objective: To evaluate the influence of educational interventions on the knowledge and perception of functional foods in the university community. Method: Two surveys were conducted among university members, students and support staff (PAU in its Spanish acronym), the first one in 2006 (n =700) and the second one in 2008 (n =333). In the period between both evaluations, educational strategies regarding functional foods (FF) were developed. The differences between the answers regarding knowledge and concept of the AF were analyzed using the Chisquare test. Results: The initial assessment indicates that only 21% of the respondents have heard of FF; however, this proportion reached 70% in the final evaluation. Regarding the knowledge of the FF concept, only 11% of the answers were correct in 2006, increasing to 70% in 2008. The differences were statistically significant (p <0.05). As for the perception of cost, in the first instance over half of the respondents said FF cost more than traditional foods, while in the final evaluation the proportion thinking there were no differences in price was higher. More than half of the respondents were initially unaware of health benefits, while more than 75% answered correctly in the post intervention assessment. In the first survey, the purchasing intention was 77% in the "always" category and 21% in "sometimes". However, in the final survey, the majority of answers were "sometimes". Conclusions: The implemented educational interventions enabled the introduction of new concepts and/or contents related to functional foods (FF), with statistically significant differences in the obtained responses about the knowledge of FF, before and after these interventions. However, these results cannot be attributed only to the effect of educational interventions, since other social factors such as advertising and media are an important and influential source of information about food and nutrition that cannot be ignored. In addition, it is necessary to take into consideration that the consumption of FF is associated with the lifestyle, which can impact on the decisions of the potential consumer.
Palabras clave : Knowledge on food; Perception; Functional food; Educational intervention.