School-Based Nutrition Education Intervention Improves Nutrition Knowledge and Lipid Profile among Overweight/Obese Children

  •  Phyllis Addo    
  •  Eric Adua    
  •  Obed Akwaa Harrison    
  •  Rose Otema Baah    
  •  Alex Kojo Anderson    
  •  Matilda Steiner-Aseidu    


Many children in Ghana do not meet the dietary and physical activity recommendations for their health due to several reasons including limited nutrition education intervention (NEI) programmes. NEI provides children with information on knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs) required to ensure proper dietary intake and physical activity. In this intervention study, we recruited eighty (80) overweight and obese students aged 11-15 years from two schools in the Ga-East municipality of Ghana. Anthropometric, biochemical, dietary and physical activity information were collected on the two groups before and after three months of NEI. Between group comparisons (test and control); before and after interventions were performed using student t-tests. It was shown that NEI improved nutrition knowledge (mean change = 5.13, p<0.01), attitude (mean change = 2.75, p<0.01) but not practice (mean change = -1.42, p<0.05) in overweight and obese children. Although anthropometric indicators did not improve with NEI, serum lipid profile of participants improved as indicated by the following mean changes: TC [-1.22, 95%CI (-1.90 -0.55)] mg/dL, HDL-c [-0.19, 95% CI (-0.38, 0.00)] mg/dL, LDL-c [-0.90, 95%CI (-1.52, -0.28)] mg/dL and TG [(-0.66, 95%CI (-1.23, -0.09)] mg/dL. Our findings show that NEI undertaken within a relatively short period of time could have positive effects on lipid profile, knowledge and attitudes of school children, and in turn, promote the fight against childhood obesity, and improve the health and wellbeing of children.

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