When it comes to the development of children’s habits, the influence their teachers hold in this regard is clear. In a new review study out of Australia, researchers have confirmed that correct nutritional guidance provided by qualified teachers can positively impact their students’ eating habits.
Researchers from the universities of Sydney and Macquarie conducted the review, which included 34 relevant articles. These studies examined the efficacy of nutritional education programmes in primary schools, and the researchers found that the largest effect of these programmes seemed to be the reduction of the children’s energy intake. Positive effects on children’s consumption of fruit and vegetables and on their nutritional knowledge were also noted.
According to the researchers, prior studies on this topic have demonstrated that the effectiveness of these nutritional education programmes depends on a number of factors, chief among them being the programme’s duration, as well as initiatives to engage children’s parents and families in these processes. Dr Wayne Cotton of the University of Sydney and co-author of the study said: “I think it’s fair to say that engaging parents is a key feature in the success of nutrition programmes for children”.
The study, titled ‘The effect of teacher-delivered nutrition education programs on elementary-aged students: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis’, was published in the December 2020 issue of Preventive Medicine Reports.