Factors influencing calcium-containing food consumption among lower secondary students in Khon Kaen Province

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Tipaporn Kanjanarach
Raksaworn Jaisa-ard
Muttanawadee Buppasiri


Calcium is an essential mineral in the process of bone formation and maintenance. If human body doesn’t obtain sufficient calcium, the bone mass density will be low and as a consequence osteoporosis mal  develop. Building bone mass density must be done from childhood by taking food containing high calcium regularly. According to the theory of planned behavior, intention is an immediate determinant of behavior. This suggests that intention to consume calcium is a significant factor in determining calcium intake behavior. Objectives: The objective of this cross-sectional survey was to identify associations between the following factors and the intention to consume calcium-containing food. These factors were three socio-demographic factors (gender, age and daily allowance), six psychological factors (attitudes towards negative effect of calcium to the body, attitudes towards health benefit of calcium to the body, attitudes towards necessity of taking calcium on a regular basis, attitudes towards preventing osteoporosis, perceived behavior control and support from family), three cognitive factors (knowledge about calcium, information about calcium and interest in receiving update calcium) and one social factors (social conformity). Method: Self administered questionnaire and food intake record forms were used to collect data. Food intake was prospectively collected for three consecutive days. The studied subjects were 1,037 lower secondary students in Khon Kaen province recruited with multi-stage sampling technique. Data were collected between June and August 2013. Results: Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis showed that of thirteen factors being studied, six factors were statistically significantly associated with the intention (P-value <0.05). These factors were male gender (Std.β=0.064), daily allowance (Std.β=0.148), attitudes towards negative effect of calcium to the body (Std.β=0.124), perceived behavior control (Std.β=0.295), social conformation (Std.β=0.092) and support from family (Std.β=0.393). These six factors explained 47.5% of the variation of the intention (R2 = 0.475). The association between the intention and calcium intake behavior was not statistically significantly. Conclusion : A program to promote calcium consumption should target not only lower secondary students, but should also consider their families and peers. The program should focus on promoting positive attitudes towards calcium consumption and identifying strategies to make calcium consumption become one of the significant social values of lower secondary students. Interventions to increase perceived behavior control of the consumption of calcium-containing food should be explored.


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