Title: Knowledge and awareness of relevant aspects of folate/folic acid among young men and women in Switzerland
Authors : Sych, Janice Marie
Baumer, Beatrice
Steinemann, Nina
Küttel-Wuillemin, Martina
Bärlocher, Kurt
Brombach, Christine
Conference details: 12th European Nutrition Conference FENS, Berlin, 20-23 October 2015
Issue Date: 2015
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Peer review (Abstract)
Language : English
Subjects : Folic acid; Folate; Pregnancy; Supplements
Subject (DDC) : 613.2: Dietetics
Abstract: Introduction: Folate is an essential water-soluble vitamin with a key role in human metabolic pathways involving cell division and growth. Folic acid supplements are recommended 4 weeks before and during early pregnancy to significantly reduce risk of neural tube defects and other congenital defects. Yet many young women are unaware or not following this international recommendation. As in Europe, Switzerland does not have mandatory folic acid fortification, therefore prevention is under individual responsibility. Communicating and ensuring recommendation compliance are thus major challenges. Objectives: To assess level of awareness and knowledge of young Swiss women and men on relevant aspects concerning folate/folic acid, i.e. dietary behavior, knowledge of food sources for folate and B12, optimal preparation methods, information sources, etc. Method / Design: An on-line questionnaire was developed and answered by 428 women and 148 men, at Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Interviews with experts were conducted; communication media were assessed. Results: 48% of study participants (n=576) answered correctly that folic acid is a life-essential vitamin. Compared with men, women were significantly more informed about the details of the folic acid recommendation (p<0.001). Dietary behavior of participants appeared favorable concerning folate: consumption of vegetables ≥ 4 times per week was 67% and 40% (raw); and 67% and 62% (cooked), for women and men, respectively. Concerning B12-foods, 80% participants correctly identified milk and meat as sources, but 25-43% incorrectly selected asparagus, wheat germ or spinach. Awareness of main folic-acid fortified products, i.e. fruit juices and breakfast cereals, was very high (100%). Conclusions: This study identified several strengths and weaknesses in knowledge and awareness of young men and women in Switzerland on relevant aspects of folate-folic acid. A follow-up study is ongoing to assess and propose educational material on this topic in the Swiss school system.
Departement: Life Sciences und Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation (ILGI)
Publication type: Conference Poster
DOI : 10.1159/000440895
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/8181
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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