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Impact of a Kindergarten through Eighth-Grade Nutrition Education Program on Student, Teacher, and Schoolwide Practices

      Low-income children are especially at risk for low fruit and vegetable consumption. Diets lacking in fruits and vegetables are associated with chronic diseases. Successful school-based interventions are key to promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that the degree of teacher involvement has a significant impact on students’ and parents’ interest in and compliance with school-based nutrition programs.
      • Magnussen P.
      • Ndawi B.
      • Sheshe A.K.
      • Byskov J.
      • Mbwana K.
      • Christensen N.
      The impact of a school health programme on the prevalence and morbidity of urinary schistosomiasis in Mwera division, Pangani district, Tanzania.
      Additionally, teachers have the predominant role in deciding which materials to use and how often to use them for a nutrition intervention.
      • Lytle L.
      • Ward J.
      • Nader P.
      • Pederson S.
      • Williston B.
      Maintenance of a health promotion program in elementary schools: results from the CATCH-ON study key informant interviews.
      These studies indicate that teachers have authority over the degree of program implementation, and the more they implement, the greater the impact on students. However, some teachers’ knowledge and understanding of nutrition education may be limited since the importance of a healthful school environment is not always emphasized in teacher training or school policies.
      • Rossiter M.
      • Glanville T.
      • Taylor J.
      • Blum I.
      School food practices of prospective teachers.
      Thus, assessing teacher program implementation level (process evaluations) and their perceptions of program impact (impact evaluations) on students and on classroom and schoolwide practices are important components of a nutrition education program evaluation. However, few evaluations of this nature, particularly longitudinal evaluations, are reported in the literature. This GEM article reports teachers’ perception of program impact on students and on classroom and school-wide practices using a cross-sectional survey.
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      References

        • Magnussen P.
        • Ndawi B.
        • Sheshe A.K.
        • Byskov J.
        • Mbwana K.
        • Christensen N.
        The impact of a school health programme on the prevalence and morbidity of urinary schistosomiasis in Mwera division, Pangani district, Tanzania.
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        • Lytle L.
        • Ward J.
        • Nader P.
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        • Williston B.
        Maintenance of a health promotion program in elementary schools: results from the CATCH-ON study key informant interviews.
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        School food practices of prospective teachers.
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