Effectiveness of Snack-centered Nutrition Education on Promoting Knowledge, Attitude, and Nutritional Behaviors in Elementary Students

Authors

1 Associate Professor of Health Education and Health Promotion, Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research Center, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor of Infectious Diseases, Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research Center, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor of Health Education and Health Promotion, Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research Center, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 MSc in Health Education, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran AND Health Care Center of Paveh, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.

Abstract

Background: Unhealthy nutrition at early years of life causes some diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and bone and joint diseases during adulthood. In other words, many of wrong health behaviors are rooted in childhood experiences. This study was conducted to examine effect of interventional programs on knowledge, attitude and nutritional behavior of students at 5th grade of elementary schools.
Materials and Methods: This is an experimental study in which, 168 elementary female students (in Paveh city, Iran) were assigned randomly to two experimental (n=84) and control (n=84) groups. A valid questionnaire was used as data collection tool. Pretest was done in both groups. According to results obtained from pretest, educational intervention was implemented in 2 sessions holding health food festival and classes for intervention group. Each session continued for 30-45 minutes. Two months after intervention, questionnaires were redistributed among two experimental and control groups to evaluate knowledge, attitude, and performance of participants. The obtained data were analyzed through SPSS 16.0 software.
Results: Results showed a significant increase between means of knowledge scores and attitude level of students toward snack in experimental and control groups (p=0.008). Also, compared with control group, there was a significant improve between mean scores of snack-related behaviors in experimental group after educational intervention (p=0.04). 
Conclusion: Since, this study confirmed effectiveness of snack-centered nutritional education on increasing knowledge, attitude, and nutritional behaviors of students, it is recommended to design and implement suitable interventional programs to improve nutritional awareness, attitudes, and behaviors of students.

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