Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This
submit to reddit

Effect Of Nutrition Education Health Essay

Rapid changes in diets and lifestyles have a significant impact on the health and nutritional status of children, particularly in developed and developing nations (1). In the United States, changes in eating patterns, including the increased consumption of fast foods, pre-prepared meals and carbonated drinks, have occurred over the past 30 years (1). The high prevalence of overweight and obesity have accelerated over the past decade (1). Obesity now constitutes a major public health challenge in the United States (2). Healthy People 2020 indicate chronic diseases are responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths among Americans every year (3). The results of the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys indicate that an estimated of 16.9% of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 are obese (4).

Fruit and vegetables are important sources of vitamins A, C, potassium, fiber, calcium, folate, iron and magnesium (5). Fruits and vegetables consumption have been associated with decreased incidence and mortality from a variety of chronic disease including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, obesity, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer (6). Almost all fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories and when replacing high calorie foods with fruits and vegetables weight may be more easily controlled (6,7). The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans calls for all Americans to fill half of the plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal (8). Specifically, the recommended daily vegetable intake is three servings or 2 cups for girls and 2.5 cups for boys, while the recommended amount of daily fruit intake is two serving or 1.5 cups for girls and 2 cups for boys (8). However, the most recent results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) revealed that children ages 6-11 consumed just over two vegetable servings daily (7).

Children in the United States follow eating patterns that do not meet national recommendations for fruits and vegetables (9). Dietary Guidelines 2010 calls for an increase in vegetable and fruit intake as part of healthy eating (10). The growing number of overweight and obese children indicates a need for the development of strategies to prevent and maximize good health. In an effort to reduce childhood obesity and to prevent the short and long term health consequences of overweight and obesity, this study is designed to implement a nutrition education intervention during school. The nutrition education program will focus on providing children messages about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.

Need for the study: Consumption of vegetables and fruits is associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases (10). For almost all Americans ages 2 years and older, fruit and vegetable intake falls below the amounts recommended (10). Very few Americans consume the recommended amount of vegetables as part of eating patterns (10). Children ages 2 to 18 years consume more than half of their fruit intake as juice (10). Most fresh fruits and vegetables are low in calories, which can help children achieve and maintain healthy weight (10). The rising number of overweight and obese children and adolescents in the United States is one of the most challenging public health issues facing the nation today (11). American children are on course to grow into the most obese generation of adults in history (11). Overweight and obesity in childhood will not only contribute to adverse health consequences in childhood but also track into adulthood and increase the risk for development of chronic disease (12). According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health promotion beginning in the early stages of life by fostering healthy eating practices and regular physical activity has the potential for a major impact on health and well-being during childhood and later stages in life (13). In order to prevent both the short and long term health consequences of overweight and obesity changes in diet may be an important step in reducing prevalence of obesity. This study is designed to measure the change in fruit and vegetable intake among 4th and 5th grade children after a nutrition education intervention.

Problem statement: Among 4th and 5th grade children in Allentown and Bethlehem school districts (P), what is the difference in fruit and vegetable intake over a two month time period (O) among those who receive a nutrition education intervention (I) versus those that do not (C)?

Subproblems:

Among 4th and 5th grade children in the Allentown and Bethlehem school districts:

Subproblem 1:

What are the demographic characteristics including age, race, ethnicity, grade, and socioeconomic status?

Subproblem 2:

What is the baseline fruit and vegetable intake of children before the nutrition education intervention for:

a. Allentown School District

b. Bethlehem School District

Subproblem 3:

What is the completion in fruit and vegetable intake of children after the nutrition education intervention for:

a. Allentown School District

b. Bethlehem School District

Subproblem 4:

What is the change in fruit and vegetable intake among from baseline to completion for:

a. Allentown School District

b. Bethlehem School District

Subproblem 5:

What is the difference in the change in fruit and vegetable intake at completion between the two school districts?

Hypothesis

1. There will be no differences in fruit intake among children who receive a nutrition education intervention versus those that do not.

2. There will be no differences in vegetable intake among children who receive a nutrition education intervention versus those that do not.

Operational definitions:

Age: For the purpose of this research, age will be measured from birth to 9 or 10 years of age (14).

Body mass index (BMI): For the purpose of this research, BMI will be defined as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2), is commonly used to classify obesity among adults, and is also recommended in children (15).

Education lesson: For the purpose of this research, education will be defined as a program of instruction of a specified level (16), the education lesson will be given to children in one school district.

Ethnicity: For the purpose of this research, ethnicity will be defined as populations who shared cultural traits. Ethnicity will be reported either as Hispanic, Latino, or others (17).

Grade: For the purpose of this research, grade will be defined as a current academic year of student (18).

Questionnaires: For the purpose of this research, questionnaires including a 24 hours recall component and a food frequency will be completed by children in the classroom.

Race: For the purpose of this research, race will be defined as groups or populations on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics; age will be reported either as White, Black, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Asian, or others (19).

Socioeconomic status: For the purpose of this research, socioeconomic status such as income, place of residence, religion of the child’s family will be collected to measure the differences in response to the education intervention (20).

The delimitations of this study:

1. The study is limited to 4th and 5th grade student in Allentown and Bethlehem school districts.

2. The study is limited to two months period.

3. The study will only gather data from the questionnaire completed by children in the classroom.

4. The study will only measure the change in fruit and vegetable intake of children.

Review of literature: outline

Introduction: Children and adolescents do not meet guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption. Adequate fruit and vegetable intake are recommended for the prevention of major chronic diseases. It is essential to develop nutrition interventions focusing on increasing daily fruit and vegetable consumption.

Justify selection of problem: Studies of fruit and vegetable consumption in relation to good health are numerous. This study evaluates the effect of nutrition education intervention on fruit and vegetable intake among children.

First stage:

Nutrition education can improve fruit and vegetable intake.

Inadequate fruit and vegetables intake among children.

Adequate Fruits and vegetables can protect health.

Second stage:

Nutrition education can improve fruit and vegetable intake.

Healthy messages receive positive responded from students.

Students responded positively to the health-promotion messages delivered at school (21).

Nutrition education intervention increase fruit and vegetable intake among children.

Eat Well and Keep Moving Program intervention increase fruits and vegetables intake in 4th and 5th grade students (22).

A theory-based school nutrition education program can help change children’s fruit, juice and vegetable consumption, and impact factors at home that predispose to fruit, juice, and vegetable consumption (23).

45% of children enrolled in a school fruit and vegetable subscription increased their intake of fruit by 0.4 piece per school day, but no changed in vegetable intake (24).

A school-based dietary intervention program increase mean daily consumption of fruit and vegetables among fourth graders (25).

Inadequate fruits and vegetables intake among children.

Low intake of fruit and vegetables are found among children.

37% of the children consumed no fresh fruit and only 19% consumed vegetables during the week they kept a diary (26).

Only 30% of youth meet the recommendations for fruit and 36% for vegetables. 16% of youth did not meet any recommendations, and 1% meets all recommendations (27).

A comparison from 24 hours recalls from NHANES revealed that children aged 2 to 5 years had significantly higher total fruit and juice intakes than 6 to 11 and 12 to 18 years old (28).

Adequate fruits and vegetables intake can protect health.

Change in food intake relates to the rise of obesity.

Changes in food intake among children may partly explain the rise of childhood obesity observed in the past few years (29).

Low intake of fruits and vegetables were associated with inadequate intakes of vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, in addition to high intakes of total fat and saturated fat (30).

Low fruit and vegetable intake associate with the risk of major chronic disease.

Low intake of fruits and vegetables associated with the increased risk of cancer (31).

Increased fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with a modest although not statistically significant reduction in the development of major chronic disease (32).

Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This

Share This Essay

To share this essay on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ just click on the buttons below:

Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Request the removal of this essay.


More from UK Essays

Doing your resits? We can help!