A holistic school-based nutrition program fails to improve teachers’ nutrition-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in rural China
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of a holistic school-based nutrition programme using the health-promoting school (HPS) approach, on teachers’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in relation to nutrition in rural China. Design/methodology/approach – A cluster-randomised intervention trial design was employed. Two middle schools were randomly selected and assigned to either the intervention school using the HPS framework (HPS School), or to the Control School, in Miyun County, Beijing. From each school 20 teachers were randomly selected to complete the survey. Nutrition-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviour were measured at pre- and post-intervention surveys with the same instrument. The nutrition intervention last for six months. Findings – The holistic school-based nutrition programme using the HPS framework had no statistical impact on improving teacher’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in relation to nutrition (p > 0.05). Practical implications – Future holistic school-based nutrition programmes targeting adolescents should also design and implement longer and more intensive interventions for teachers focusing on how to equip them with the awareness and ability to disseminate their knowledge, positive attitudes and role model behaviours to students, rather than on how to teach them basic knowledge and skills. Originality/value – Although teachers play a critical role in the HPS framework, there is very limited published research investigating the change in teachers’ nutrition-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviour as a result of a nutrition promotion programme.