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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

versión On-line ISSN 2071-9736
versión impresa ISSN 1025-9848

Health SA Gesondheid (Online) vol.17 no.1 Cape Town  2012




Impact of nutrition education on nutrition knowledge of public school educators in South Africa: A pilot study



Wilna H. Oldewage-Theron; Abdulkadir Egal

Centre of Sustainable Livelihoods, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa





The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has not given nutrition education the necessary emphasis that it needs, despite its importance in South African schools. Nutrition is included as only one of many topics forming part of the Life Orientation syllabus. Educators are role models for learners in making healthy food choices, however, studies have shown that major gaps exist in the health and nutrition-related knowledge and behaviour of educators.
The objective of this research was to undertake a pilot study to determine the impact of a nutrition education programme (NEP) on the nutrition knowledge of Life Orientation educators in public schools in South Africa (SA).
An exploratory baseline survey, to determine the nutrition education practices in 45 purposively selected public schools, was carried out before the experimental nutrition education intervention study. A nutrition knowledge questionnaire was completed by 24 purposively selected educators, representing all nine provinces in SA, before and after a three-day NEP. Pre and post-NEP data were analysed on the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for a Windows program version 17.0 for descriptive statistics, version 17.0. Paired t-tests measured statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) before and after the NEP.
The knowledge of the respondents improved significantly after the NEP as the mean±s.d. score of correctly answered questions (n = 59) improved from 63.3±30.2% before to 80.6±21.1% after the NEP.
The results proved that nutrition knowledge of Life Orientation educators in primary schools is not optimal, but can be improved by NEP.


Die Departement van Basiese Opvoeding het nog nie die nodige aandag aan voeding voorligting in skole gegee nie ten spyte van die belangrikheid daarvan. Voeding word aangebied as een van vele aspekte in die Lewensoriëntasie sillabusse. Onderwysers is rolmodelle om gesonde voedsel keuses te maak vir kinders, maar studies het bewys dat tekortkominge bestaan in die gesondheid en voeding verwante kennis en optrede van onderwysers.
Die doel van hierdie loods studies was om die impak van 'n voeding voorligting program op die voeding kennis van Lewensoriëntering onderwysers in publieke skole in Suid Afrika (SA) te bepaal.
'n Basislyn ondersoek was uitgevoer om die voeding praktyke van onderwysers uit 45 doelbewuste gekose publieke skole te bepaal voor en na die implementering van 'n eksperimentele voeding voorligting intervensie studie. 'n Voeding kennis vraelys is deur 24 doelbewuste gekose onderwysers, verteenwoordigend van al nege provinsies in SA, voltooi voor en na die drie-dag voeding voorligtingsprogram. Beide pre en post data is geanaliseer op die Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) vir Windows program, uitgawe 17.0, vir beskrywende statistieke. Gepaarde t-toetse is gebruik om statisties betekenisvolle verskille (p < 0.05) voor en na die intervensie te bepaal.
Die kennis van die respondent het betekenisvol verbeter na die intervensie aangesien die gemiddelde ±s.d. uitslag van die vrae wat korrek geantwoord is (n = 59) van 63.3±30.2 persent voor tot 80.6±21.1 persent na die intervensie verbeter het.
Die resultate het bewys dat die voeding kennis van Lewensoriëntering onderwysers in publieke skole in SA nie optimaal is nie, maar dat dit kan verbeter deur voeding voorligtingsprogramme.



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Wilna Oldewage-Theron
Private Bag X021
Vanderbijlpark 1900
South Africa

Received: 10 May 2011
Accepted: 12 Apr. 2012
Published: 31 July 2012

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