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Nutrients 2016, 8(4), 234; doi:10.3390/nu8040234

Effect of a School-Based Intervention on Nutritional Knowledge and Habits of Low-Socioeconomic School Children in Israel: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

1
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, POB 653, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel
2
Braun School of Public Health , and Community Medicine, the Hebrew University Hadassah, Jerusalem 91120, Israel
3
Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON M5B 1W8, Canada
4
Ashalim: The Association for Planning & Development of Services for Children and Youth at Risk and Their Families, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, POB 3489, Jerusalem 91034, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 February 2016 / Revised: 10 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
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Abstract

Early social and economic deprivation, associated with poor nutrition and physical inactivity, may lead to adverse health trajectories. A cluster-randomized controlled-trial examining the effect of a school-based comprehensive intervention on nutrition knowledge, eating habits, and behaviors among low socioeconomic status (LSES) school-aged children was performed. LSES school-aged children (4–7 years) and their mothers were recruited from 11 schools, located in one town. The intervention was implemented on three levels: children, mothers, and teachers. The intervention (IArm) included nutrition classes for children, mothers, and teachers and physical activity (PA) classes for children; the control (CArm) received PA only. Interventions were conducted by professional personnel, who were trained during in a two-day session to deliver the specific program in schools. Family data were obtained by parental interviews. Food knowledge observations, packed lunch records, and anthropometric measurements were obtained in school at baseline, six months, and at the end of the school year. Of 258 children enrolled, 220 (87.6%) completed the six-month program. Only children in the IArm improved their nutrition knowledge and eating-habits and increased food variety and fruit and vegetable consumption, quality score of packed lunches (p < 0.001 for all), habitual water drinking increased (p = 0.02), and decreased sweet-drink consumption (p = 0.05). A school-based comprehensive nutrition intervention targeting LSES population improved eating habits, nutritional knowledge, and healthier packed lunches. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrition; low socioeconomic; childhood obesity; health promotion; pediatric nutrition; preschool children; school-based intervention nutrition; low socioeconomic; childhood obesity; health promotion; pediatric nutrition; preschool children; school-based intervention
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kaufman-Shriqui, V.; Fraser, D.; Friger, M.; Geva, D.; Bilenko, N.; Vardi, H.; Elhadad, N.; Mor, K.; Feine, Z.; Shahar, D.R. Effect of a School-Based Intervention on Nutritional Knowledge and Habits of Low-Socioeconomic School Children in Israel: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2016, 8, 234.

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