Malnutrition can threaten mental and physical development of children while healthy nutrition can improve mental and physical status of children. To select the best foods, children need nutrition education. This study aimed to determine the effect of nutrition education on reducing the consumption of unhealthy snacks in female primary school students in Qom- Iran.
Materials and Methods
This interventional study was conducted on 88 students in intervention and control groups who were selected via multistage random sampling method. The data was collected using a valid and reliable researcher-made questionnaire which was designed based on the health belief model (HBM). First four training sessions were held for the intervention group; two months later, data were collected again from both groups of students (intervention and control group). The collected data were analyzed by SPSS version 16.0 using descriptive statistics and independent and paired t-test.
The mean score of knowledge and performance of the intervention group, were 96.12 and 18.61 before the intervention which changed to 110.00 and 68.22 after the intervention. The results showed that before the intervention there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of mean scores of knowledge, and the constructs of the health belief model (P>0.05). After the intervention, the scores of all variables and the behavior of unhealthy snacks consumption were significantly increased in the intervention group (P<0.05).
This study showed that the nutrition education program (designed based on the HBM) was effective in reducing the consumption of unhealthy snacks as it increased the scores of the Health Belief Model constructs and decreased the score of perceived barriers.