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Acta Portuguesa de Nutrição

versão On-line ISSN 2183-5985


SANTOS, Beatriz; SILVA, Clara  e  PINTO, Elisabete. The role of school in nutrition education in elementary school children - how to be more effective. Acta Port Nutr [online]. 2018, n.14, pp.18-23. ISSN 2183-5985.

Introduction: We’ve never talked so much about the importance of a healthy diet since childhood and we’ve never worked on this topic so much like nowadays. However, the fight against obesity is still far from being overcome and it seems unquestionable the role of nutrition in that. Children spend a huge part of their days in school, where they have the chance to eat several meals. Furthermore, the school allows to include other groups, like parents, teachers, school employees and even the local community. It allows to reach all the socioeconomic groups, making it a good place for nutrition education interventions. Objectives: This review aims to answer to the following questions: (I) Which factors should be taken into account when planning an effective intervention for this group age? (II) Which are the most effective measures? (III) What has been done in Portugal to change the eating behavior in children? (IV) What more can be done for better results? Methodology: A narrative review was carried out to gather scientific papers, documents of national and international organizations that work in the field, academic thesis and the own previous experience of the authors. Discussion/Conclusions: The success of nutrition education interventions is supported by the existing bibliography but the results are still not enough to reverse the situation of obesity and unhealthy eating habits such as low consumption of fruit and vegetables. The inclusion of new forms of intervention such as the inclusion of parents, teachers and school staff, school gardens, cooking lessons, the use of well-known characters in food and use appealing packaging to promote healthy foods seems to be important to improve the results of nutrition education projects.

Palavras-chave : Behaviours; Nutrition education; School; Childhood; Obesity.

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