Caregivers' Knowledge of Sugar and Control Over Children's Sugar Consumption

Jungsoo Kim, Ling Zhan, Thuan Le, Jing Cheng
Pediatric Dentistry 2019 May 15, 41 (3): 191-199
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand caregivers' knowledge about sugar, intended and actual control, and barriers in controlling sugar consumptions of their children. Methods: A 17-item preliminary knowledge questionnaire on sugar was developed. Fifty- five caregivers of pediatric dental patients completed the survey regarding their knowledge about sugar, intention to control, actual control, and barriers in controlling children's sugar consumptions. The same survey was also used with 62 fourth-year dental students to assess the construct validity of the questionnaire. Fisher's exact, Wilcoxon rank-sum test, and generalized linear model were used in data analyses. Results: Compared to caregivers, dental students had better knowledge about sugar (P<0.001). Caregivers in the higher sugar knowledge group had greater intention to control their child's fruit juice consumption (P=0.037) and greater actual control over their child's sweet snacks (P=0.046), soft drinks (P=0.034), and fruit juice consumption (P=0.003). Other family members allowing sugar snacks/drinks was considered the top barrier in controlling children's sugar consumption (reported by 44 percent of caregivers). Conclusion: Knowledge about sugar was associated with caregivers' intended and actual control over their child's sugar consumption, indicating an education need for caregivers that focuses on the role of sugar in the development of caries. (Pediatr Dent 2019;41(3):191-9) Received November 30, 2018 | Last Revision April 9, 2019 | Accepted April 11, 2019.


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