The purpose of this study was to examine whether teacher characteristics and implementation factors influenced the effectiveness of a multicomponent nutrition education program to improve nutrition-related knowledge and behavior among fourth-grade children. Schools implemented the Shaping Healthy Choices Program (SHCP), a multicomponent nutrition intervention, during 2013-2014. Fourth-grade teachers (n = 8) at two schools facilitated nutrition education using an experiential, garden-enhanced nutrition curriculum among students (n = 173) in their classrooms. Teacher characteristics of teaching experience, self-efficacy in teaching nutrition, and knowledge about nutrition were collected at baseline. Implementation factors of fidelity and completion were measured using self-reports and qualitative observations. Student outcomes included body mass index percentile-for-age, nutrition knowledge, critical thinking skills, and identification of vegetables and were measured pre/post. Relationships were analyzed using multivariate mixed-model regression with classroom as a random effect. Pre/post changes were analyzed using t tests. Students improved body mass index percentile-for-age (−1.99 ± 7.95) and increased nutrition knowledge (2.28 ± 3.40), critical thinking skills (1.98 ± 3.28), and the ability to identify vegetables (0.87 ± 1.09). Teachers’ characteristics of teaching experience, experience teaching nutrition, attendance in a college nutrition course, self-efficacy, and nutrition knowledge were significantly related to fidelity and completeness of program implementation. This study demonstrated implementation of SHCP by teachers can positively influence student outcomes, though program implementation depends on teacher characteristics.
- nutrition education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health