Effect of Nutrition and Physical Education on Adolescents’ Physical Activity Levels, Nutrition Knowledge, Attitudes and Dietary Practices
Author(s): Wandia Florence, Sophie Ochola, Ogada Irene
Physical activity, nutrition knowledge, attitude and dietary practices are key factors associated with overweight and obesity. This study aimed to determine the effect of a school-focused nutrition and physical education intervention on the physical activity levels, knowledge, attitudes and dietary practices in relation to body weight among adolescents attending day schools in Kenya. Adolescent students, 15-18 years of age were randomly assigned to either control or intervention group. The intervention group received 8 weeks of nutrition and physical education sessions on healthy eating and physical activity. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires. The study groups were comparable in baseline characteristics. Metabolic Equivalent for Task (MET) scores were significantly higher in the intervention group (T-test: -3.6998; p=0.002) at 6 months post intervention as compared to the control group, whose MET scores significantly decreased (T-test: 2.816; p=0.005) in the same period.At 8 weeks and 6 months post intervention, mean knowledge scores were higher in the intervention group as compared to the control group (3.798 ± 1.289 and 3.778 ± 1.246) for intervention and control groups respectively. At 6 months post-intervention, the mean knowledge scores were significantly higher in the intervention group compared to the control group (T-test: 2.269; p=0.024). At 6 months post intervention, mean attitude scores were significantly higher in the intervention group compared to the control group (T-test: -6.471; p<0.001). Those in intervention group were more likely to consume less unhealthy foods and more healthy foods at 8 weeks and at 6 months post intervention. This study improved Physical activity levels, Knowledge, Attitudes and Dietary practices of the adolescents.