The impact of nutrition education in schools in effecting changes in food consumption patterns of teenagers - a baseline study

Project Number
RI 8/06 JM

Project Duration
November 2006 - December 2012

Status
In-Progress (Extended)

Abstract
"You are what you eat" is a common saying which aptly describes the direct relationship between food intake and health. It is also widely accepted that food intake habits formed at a young age through the teenage years have a continuous and lasting impact on an individual's health in adulthood. It is therefore logical that attempts to influence food intake habits be directed at the school-going age. Schools have been promoted as a major context delivery of nutrition education because of theor potential for cost-effectiveness and mass reach. The need to establish a relationship between changes in food habits and school programmes is crucial to determine future investments in such efforts. This project aims to identify the factors which affect the food consumption and dietary patterns of teenagers in schools. Specifically, we examine the food consumption and dietary patterns of teenagers before and after they have received the compulsory food and nutrition education at the lower secondary levels. Other factors such as socio-demographic characteristics are also studied to include out-of-school and environmental influences. The impact of food and nutrition education in schools such as curriculum frameworks and classroom practices are also studies to determine if these are positive, neutral or negative influences on food habits and patterns of teenagers. Establishing the link between the education and impact on food consumption and diet patterns is crucial as any changes is only observable through actual positive changes in food consumption patterns. This will provide a baseline for formulating future resource-intensive policies and measures to improve the overall health status of youths in Singapore.

Funding Source
NIE

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