Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between personality type and fruit and vegetable preferences of third and fourth grade children.
Methods: A cross-sectional, quantitative survey study was used to gather information from parents or caregivers (N=345). Survey packets were distributed and included a demographic questionnaire, the Inventory of Children's Individual Differences (short version), the Fruit and Vegetable Preference Questionnaire, and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). Demographic variables were controlled and multiple regression analyses were conducted for fruit preference, vegetable preference, fruit and vegetable preference, and the HEI score to determine relationships to openness to experience, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Results: The combined effect of openness to experience, agreeableness and neuroticism was significant for the fruit preference score (p<0.05), vegetable preference score (p<0.001), combined fruit/vegetable preference score (p<0.01), and the HEI score (p<0.01).
Conclusion: These results indicate that children who are more agreeable and open in nature may have stronger preferences for fruits, vegetables, and fruits and vegetables in general, and they may score higher on the HEI, and children who are more neurotic may have lower preferences for fruits and vegetables, and they may score lower on the HEI. These results support the consideration of personality as a factor that influences food preference.
Megan Myrdal, Abby Gold, Jim Deal, Mary Larson and Michelle Strang
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