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ANTONIO PALMA

Relationship between food literacy and gross motor and pre-literacy skills in pre-schoolers from the Training-to-Health Project

  • Authors: Tabacchi, G.; Battaglia, G.; Alesi, M.; Palma, A.; Bellafiore, M.
  • Publication year: 2018
  • Type: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/329438

Abstract

Purpose: Food literacy is a recent concept encompassing food knowledge and skills, and is related with every aspects of life including health, culture and environment. The assessment and development of food knowledge and skills is important since the early childhood. The aim of this study is to assess the relationships between food literacy and gross motor and pre-literacy skills in a sample of pre-schoolers. Methods: The sample was recruited within the Training-to Health Project conducted in the Palermo City Council. A total of 928 children aged 3–5 years from all 21 municipal kindergartens were recruited. Brief education sessions on nutritional topics and practical activities were performed by the children, and a validated 4 domainstoolkit with prearranged sheets was compiled to evaluate a food literacy score. Gross motor and pre-literacy skills were assessed by the Italian version of gross motor development test and the PRCR-2/ 2009. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to estimate associations, with significance level set at p\0.05. Results: The adjusted coefficients between food literacy and gross motor abilities were significant for the quotient of gross motor development (QGMD) and in particular for the component of locomotor skills (coef 0.03, p\0.01; coef 0.16, p\0.001, respectively). Almost all the correlations with the pre-literacy skills (lower time and fewer errors in recognising letters and naming objects) were statistically significant (coefficients ranged from - 0.02 to 0.47, p\0.001). Conclusions: The present study adds new information to the literature regarding food literacy in pre-schoolers and suggests that increased food literacy can be found in children with better QGMD, locomotor and pre-literacy skills. Information provided by the present study emphasizes the need of assessing the food knowledge and skills and developing locomotor, pre-reading and pre-writing skills since preschool age to enhance success probabilities at school.