American Journal of Public Health Research
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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2015, 3(1), 1-7
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-3-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Study of the Effects of Snack-Centered Dietary Education on First-Grade Elementary Students and Duration of These Effects

Toshiyuki Kohri1, and Naoko Kaba1

1Department of Food and Nutrition, Faculty of Agriculture, Kinki University, Nara, Japan

Pub. Date: January 09, 2015

Cite this paper:
Toshiyuki Kohri and Naoko Kaba. Study of the Effects of Snack-Centered Dietary Education on First-Grade Elementary Students and Duration of These Effects. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2015; 3(1):1-7. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-3-1-1

Abstract

Irregular diets and nutrient imbalances that result from a lack of interest in food have become more common among not only adults but also children. Snacks are a category of food that most children like and can select for themselves. This study validated the effects of snack-centered dietary education for children on the ability of snack selection and duration of these effects. Twenty-three types of snacks, including drinks, were lined up on a table and presented to 103 Japanese first grade elementary students (intervention group) in a snack selection test in which children were allowed to freely select the snacks they would eat in one day. The ability of children to select the proper quality and quantity of snacks was evaluated on the basis of the energy and nutrient content of the selected snacks. Subsequently, snack-centered dietary education intervention lessons were provided to the children, and the same test conducted at baseline was immediately reconducted after the intervention and seven months after the end of the intervention. The control group comprised 118 children who were in the first grade during the subsequent school year. In the intervention group, the snacks selected in the baseline test had excessive energy content; post-intervention, the energy content approached a more appropriate level and the nutrient density of vitamins, iron, and dietary fiber increased. Moreover, these improvements were observed even seven months after the intervention ended. However, in the control group, there were no significant changes. These findings suggested that snack-centered dietary education for first grade elementary students contributed to improving the quality and quantity of snack selection, and these effects persisted for more than half a year.

Keywords:
snack dietary education diet food nutrition children intervention

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