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The effectiveness of educational programs for the improvement of population dietary patterns and prevention of anemias


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Abstract

There was performed an experimental study of the use of educational programs as tools of the improvement of the structure of nutrition and primary prevention of anemias associated with nutrition. Educational programs were differentiated for each of the target audience (pupils of 5-7 classes, 1-4 year students of the medical school, the adult unorganized population; n = 645). Their efficacy was evaluated with the use of issues included in the educational program and analysis of the actual nutrition (only in groups of students and adults). Performance assessment were: testing on the issues included in the educational program and analysis of actual of dietary intake (only in groups of students and adults). Testing was performed at the points: before the intervention, immediately after 6 and 12 months after intervention. An analysis of the frequency offood consumption with an estimation of the actual consumption of nutrients was carried out at the initial and final points. There was noted the low level ofpublic knowledge about the principles of rational nutrition: the proportion of correct answers, reflecting the level of awareness of constructing an optimal diet in the starting point of the study was 25% for schoolchildren, 45% - in adults, 35% - the students, after the intervention - 75%, 90% and 85% respectively. One year after the implementation of the educational program the level of residual knowledge of study participants remained at a level above the original (the proportion of correct answers during testing of schoolchildren - 50% (p <0,001 to baseline), in adults - 60% (p = 0,0005) , students - 60% (p <0,001). There were also noted positive changes in the structure of nutrition of study participants 12 months after the intervention: in relation to the initial level there was increased consumption of ascorbic acid and calcium in students, decreased consumption of animal fats in adults and students, there was noted a trend towards increased consumption of dietary iron (p = 0,059). The obtained results testify to the effectiveness of educational programs as a means for the improvement of the structure of the nutrition in different groups of the population and primary prevention of micronutrient deficiencies and diseases with dietary risk factors, including anemia.


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