What do parents of children know about food additives in selected foods?
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Scientific Circle at the Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Public Health in Bytom, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Public Health in Bytom, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
These authors had equal contribution to this work
Submission date: 2023-11-16
Final revision date: 2024-01-16
Acceptance date: 2024-01-16
Online publication date: 2024-02-27
Corresponding author
Weronika Osmala-Kurpiewska   

Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Public Health in Bytom, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland, Piekarska 18, 41-902 Bytom, Poland
Pol. Ann. Med. 2024;31(1):7-12
Food additives are used in foods by manufacturers to prevent unfavourable changes in colour, taste and smell and to extend shelf life. Consumption of highly processed products containing large amounts of food additives can lead to accumulation of these substances in the body and cause adverse health effects.

The aim of the study was to assess parents' knowledge of selected food additives and their impact on the health of preschool children.

Material and methods:
The original survey was conducted in March 2022. In total, 112 parents of preschool children attending kindergartens in the Silesian Voivodeship were interviewed. The questionnaire consisted of information and 18 questions, including the respondents' awareness of the presence of food additives in food and their impact on human health. The survey results were prepared in Microsoft Office Excel 2019 and Statistica.

Results and discussion:
It was found that less than half of those surveyed (45.53%) thought that the information provided on food additives was easy to understand. More than half of those surveyed (52.68%) did not know that the consumption of products with added benzoic acid can lead to hypersensitivity reactions in patients with bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis and skin allergies.

The potential health effects of consuming foods containing selected food additives were not known by most of the parents surveyed. Educational activities to increase parents' knowledge about food additives are recommended.

The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
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