Food Neophobia and its Association with Nutritional Status and Diet Quality in Children Ages 2 to 5 in Barangay Gulang-gulang, Lucena City, Philippines


Food neophobia (FN) is the reluctance to eat novel foods. It peaks around the toddler and preschool years, a sensitive time for developing dietary habits. If this eating behavior persists, children are susceptible to acquiring lifelong unhealthy dietary habits, ultimately affecting their development. Hence, this cross-sectional study involved 88 parents or caregivers of children ages 2 to 5 to describe FN relative to nutritional status (NS) and diet quality (DQ) and identify factors affecting its development. Data were collected using a computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) online survey. Weight-for-height and height-for-age measurements were used to assess NS. While dietary diversity score (DDS) and Menu Eval Plus for DQ. The Child Food Neophobia Scale was adopted to measure FN. No significant associations were noted regarding NS and DQ. However, food-neophobic children had fewer intakes of legumes (p-value=0.041) and non-vitamin A-rich vegetables (p-value=0.048) and excessive intakes of phosphorus (p-value=0.002), vitamin A (p-value=0.027), and riboflavin (p-value=0.037). Snacks and discretionary foods are also frequently consumed as they are readily available and accessible. This behavior may probably be due to the innate preference of children for sweet and salty over bitter and sour flavors. Results warrant further research to develop interventions to address FN in children.


Authors and Affiliations

Brian Floyd Andrewmer B. Albitos* and Aimee Sheree A. Barrion

Institute of Human Nutrition and Food, College of Human Ecology, University of the Philippines Los Baños, College, Los Baños, Laguna, 4031, Philippines

*correspondence: [email protected]

16 February 202317 October 202324 October 2023

Cite this article

Albitos, B. F. A. B. & Barrion, A. S. A. (2023). Food Neophobia and its Association with Nutritional Status and Diet Quality in Children Ages 2 to 5 in Barangay Gulang-gulang, Lucena City, Philippines. Journal of Human Ecology and Sustainability1(1), 5.

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Brian Floyd Andrewmer B. Albitos; Aimee Sheree A. Barrion


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