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Nutrition across the curriculum: a scoping review exploring the integration of nutrition education within primary schools

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 April 2021

Berit M. Follong
Affiliation:
School of Health Sciences, College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia
Angeliek Verdonschot
Affiliation:
School of Health Sciences, College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles, Wageningen University & Research, 6700 EWWageningen, The Netherlands
Elena Prieto-Rodriguez
Affiliation:
Teachers and Teaching Research Centre, School of Education, College of Human and Social Futures, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia
Andrew Miller
Affiliation:
Teachers and Teaching Research Centre, School of Education, College of Human and Social Futures, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia
Clare E. Collins
Affiliation:
School of Health Sciences, College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia
Tamara Bucher*
Affiliation:
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia School of Environmental and Life Sciences, College of Engineering, Science and Environment, The University of Newcastle, Chittaway Road, Ourimbah, NSW2258, Australia
*
*Corresponding author: Dr Tamara Bucher, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle, 10 Chittaway Road, Ourimbah NSW 2258, Australia. Email: tamara.bucher@newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

Primary schools contribute to promoting healthy eating behaviour and preventing overweight and obesity by providing nutrition education. Research highlights the importance of improving teachers’ programme implementation to enhance intervention effectiveness. An integrative approach has been suggested to reduce time barriers that teachers currently experience in teaching nutrition. This scoping review explores use and effectiveness of integrative teaching in primary-school-based nutrition education programmes. Six databases were searched for primary-school-based interventions on nutrition education. Papers reporting on integration of nutrition topics within core curriculum were included. Abstracts and full texts of potentially relevant articles were screened to determine eligibility. Next, data were extracted and tabulated. Findings were collated and summarised to describe intervention characteristics, subject integration and effectiveness of the included programmes. Data describing integration of nutrition into the primary school curriculum were extracted from 39 eligible papers. Nutrition education programmes often involve lessons about food groups and are frequently embedded within the mathematics, science or literacy syllabus. Although articles report on the integration of nutrition, the use of this approach was not commonly described in detail. Only seven papers discussed student outcomes related to the integration of nutrition education within core subjects. The ability to draw strong conclusions about school-based nutrition intervention effectiveness is limited by the current lack of programme description and methodological issues. Hence, more research is warranted to inform evidence on effectiveness of integrative nutrition education for both teacher and student outcomes. Future studies that include greater detail regarding the integrative approach are needed.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society

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Nutrition across the curriculum: a scoping review exploring the integration of nutrition education within primary schools
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Nutrition across the curriculum: a scoping review exploring the integration of nutrition education within primary schools
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