Nutrition education improves knowledge and BMI-for-age in Ghanaian school-aged children

  • Reginald A Annan
  • Charles Apprey
  • Godwin O Agyemang
  • Diane M Tuekpe
  • Odeafo Asamoah-Boakye
  • Satoru Okonogi
  • Taro Yamauchi
  • Takeshi Sakurai
Keywords: School-aged children; nutrition education; BMI-for-age; nutrition knowledge; basic school.

Abstract

Background: Adequate nutrition is required for growth and development in children. This study tested the effectiveness of nutrition education on knowledge and BMI-for-age (BFA) of school-aged children in the Kumasi Metropolis.

Methods: Children, aged 9-13 years old were recruited from ten randomly selected primary schools in the Metropolis. The schools were randomly allocated into 3 groups: nutrition education (3 schools), physical activity (PA) education (3 schools), both interventions (2 schools), or control (2 schools). Following a baseline nutrition and PA knowledge and status assess- ment in 433 children, twice-monthly nutrition and PA education and demonstrations were carried out for 6 months, followed by a post-intervention assessment.

Results: PA and nutrition knowledge improved in all groups (P<0.001); the highest improvement was among those who received both interventions (31.0%), followed by the nutrition education group (29.8%), and the least, the control group (19.1%). Overall, BFA improved by +0.36, from baseline (-0.26) to end of the intervention (+0.10, P<0.001). Within the groups, the nutrition group (+0.65, P<.001) had the highest improvement, then, both the intervention group (+0.27, P<0.001), the PA group (+0.23, P<0.001) and lastly, the control group (+0.18, P=0.001).

Conclusion: Nutrition education could improve knowledge and BMI-for-age in school-aged children in Ghana.

Keywords: School-aged children; nutrition education; BMI-for-age; nutrition knowledge; basic school.

Published
2021-08-02
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 1680-6905