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The Effect of Nutrition Education on Food Choices of Sixth Grade Children in a Primary School | Abstract

Global Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2319-8834

Abstract

The Effect of Nutrition Education on Food Choices of Sixth Grade Children in a Primary School

Maha Abdelrahman Mowafy

The impact of behavior on health, with a special emphasis on children and adolescents, is a central focus for current health policy and for the prevention agenda. This is an interventional study with pre/post assessment. The objectives of which are to test KAP of children in sixth grade primary school as regards healthy eating habits and conduct health educational intervention. A pretest (questionnaire) was taken before the program to assess the KAP among school children as regards healthy eating habits. According to KAP analysis outcome, the health education material was tailored. All cases included in this study were subjected to health education intervention. Post test was taken after 2 weeks to determine the impact of the program. A total number of 100 students aged 11-12 years in the sixth grade primary were included. The results showed that 41% of studied group were boys and 59% were girls. The majority of students had a normal BMI 64%, overweight were 29% (23% boys & 33% girls), and only 14% were obese (12% boys & 16% girls). There was a great improvement in knowledge in relation to the number of meals per day from 6.7 to 50. For attitude the highest percentage of improvement was related to milk and yogurt snacks from 11.5 to 85.6 after intervention and for breakfast as a practice. Nutrition education should be introduced to school children as it highly affects their food choices and preferences.

INTRODUCTION

Children are facing rapid development – mentally and physically – thus good nutrition is very important in this phase of life to ensure they grow normally and healthily. Eating habits in children are generally developed since young and usually will continue into adulthood. Therefore, nutrition education should be conveyed to children from an early age. The rapid change in socio-economic status among Malaysians has resulted in changes in lifestyle, including eating habits and food intake and consumerism. Changes in eating habits and leading sedentary or inactive lifestyles are known to be some of the factors contributing towards increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension in the populations.

METHODS

The research conducted so far on the impacts of formal education on nutrition knowledge and nutrition behaviour of children and teenagers indicates to a certain extent whether educational programmes are suitable and efficient in terms of achieving teaching goals and how they influence the knowledge and human behaviour. The purpose of our research was to analyse the effectiveness of compulsory nutrition education of children  attending the 6th grade of nine-grade primary schools in Slovenia and to analyse their nutrition knowledge. By the analysis of variables, measured before and after the school year we could determine the level of changes of individual variables as a result of the educational process the children went through, and to critically assess the quality of the teaching contents in view of the curricular goals.

RESULTS

The results of the first and the second knowledge testing were analysed by calculating the total number of points achieved in both tests (Table 1). A comparison of the mean values of total points achieved between the first and the second testing shows that the students performed better during the second testing and there is a statistically significant difference between the two tests. The average number of points achieved during the first testing was 14.60, and 15.91 points during the second test. This indicates that students' knowledge improved after going through the educational process, however, the level of acquired knowledge was not very high.

 

Published Date: 2020-08-08;

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