NUTRITION EDUCATION INTERVENTION: AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR HEALTH PROMOTION AND PRIMARY PREVENTION

Jana KOČÍ, Martin CHVÁL

Abstract


Obesity and overweight of children are a major global problem nowadays. According to the Regional Office for Europe (2018), obesity has risen three times over the last two decades worldwide. The attention is currently focused on population-wide health promotion and disease prevention through comprehensive health education, starting in the early age of individuals, aimed at slowing down the increasing incidence of obesity and related health issues.

The purpose of this research was to design nutrition education intervention based on determined dietary habits and healthy nutrition knowledge of ninth graders from the elementary schools in the Czech Republic, who have completed the compulsory school attendance. The designed interventional program reflects current nutritional habits and knowledge about nutrition of Czech students and nutritional recommendations for the Czech population targeted to children, which also corresponds to the nutritional topics integrated into the National Health Curriculum Recommendations for Czech Elementary Schools.

A validated Nutritional survey (analyzing nutritional habits, attitudes towards proper nutrition and basic health nutrition skills) and Nutritional knowledge quiz (analyzing the level of knowledge related to nutrition for secondary school students) were designed to determine the relationship between knowledge and behavior of ninth grade students from elementary schools in the Czech Republic. The research group consisted of 1,028 ninth graders from 25 different elementary schools. Current nutritional habits and knowledge of Czech ninth graders were analysed and  the  Nutrition  Education  Program - a  comprehensive curriculum for teachers and set of educational and didactical materials for Czech elementary schools was designed based on the research findings. The program appears to be a suitable instrument for effective nutrition education and a popular tool for the organization of education among teachers. Designed Nutrition Education Program allows one’s knowledge, behavior and attitudes to be shaped in desired direction while letting students have fun and incorporate newly adopted behavioral patterns into their everyday lives.

Keywords: Childhood obesity, proper nutrition, nutrition education, nutrition knowledge, nutritional habits, behavior change, school education programming.


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References


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