OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of a self-administered nutrition knowledge (NK) questionnaire for Italian university students.
DESIGN: The NK questionnaire included ninety questions on experts' nutritional recommendations, nutritional content of food, health aspects of food and diets, relationship between diet and diseases, and proper food choices. It was administered to the same population under the same conditions on two different occasions with a time interval of 3 weeks between the two administrations.
SETTING: The survey was carried out at the University of Parma (Italy) during the 2018-2019 academic year.
PARTICIPANTS: Data were collected for 132 bachelor and master degree students attending the University of Parma, either attending or not nutrition classes during their studies (19-30 years, 29·5 % males, 57·6 % with an academic nutrition background).
RESULTS: The questionnaire revealed high overall internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's α > 0·8) and a good temporal stability with high correlation of the total score (r = 0·835, P < 0·001). Moreover, it showed a good ability to discriminate between subjects with potentially different NK.
CONCLUSIONS: This NK questionnaire proved to be a reliable, valid and easy-to-use tool for assessing the NK of Italian university students, either with or without nutrition background.