Development of a food knowledge test for first-year students at a university of technology in the Western Cape, South Africa

  • R Hanekom
  • I Venter
  • LD Du Toit


The objective of this study was to develop a valid and reliable test to determine the food knowledge of first-year students at a university of technology (UOT) in theWestern Cape, South Africa (SA).  The test focused on two content domains, namely ‘fruit and vegetables’ and ‘fats and oils’, as the consumption of these food items are of concern regarding the dietary intake of young adults.  Multiple-choice test items were compiled following the rules of test item construction.  The test items were evaluated by experts in the field of food science and nutrition to ensure item content and face validity.  Sample groups to answer the test were chosen from different study fields as it was expected that their food knowledge would differ.  An insufficient number of test items were retained after the item analysis and test construct validity evaluations of the first test; therefore the test was repeated after adding additional test items.  In the final test 74 test items were retained comprising 49 fruit and vegetables test items and 25 fats and oils test items.  The test was found valid (Mann-Whitney Test, z = 9,74) and highly reliable (Kuder-Richardson formula 20 [K-R20] and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient = 0,934).  Due to its high reliability scores, the test can be used at group and individual levels.  


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eISSN: 0378-5254