J Nutr Health.  2018 Oct;51(5):433-444. 10.4163/jnh.2018.51.5.433.

Status and needs of nutrition education for children's sugars intake reduction in elementary school

  • 1Division of Food Science, Kongju National University, Yesan, Chungnam 32439, Korea.
  • 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Seowon University, Chongju, Chungbuk 28674, Korea. yeon@seowon.ac.


This study examined the status and needs of school-based nutritional education programs for reducing sugars intake in elementary schools.
A total of 230 elementary nutrition teachers participated in this study through an online survey in July 2017.
Approximately one-third of the schools conducted nutrition education on reducing sugars intake as a main topic. The most frequent educated grade and education period were 4th and 3rd grade, and once a year. Most of the nutrition teachers answered that nutrition education related to reducing sugars intake for children was necessary. The nutrition teachers answered that first graders were the recipients in most need of nutrition education for reducing sugars but, realistically, third graders were the most suitable for nutrition education. The appropriate education topics were limited to the lower grades, such as sugars consumption related health problems, foods containing high sugars, and behaviors to reduce sugars intake; however, a wider variety of topics were selected for the upper grades. The experiment was considered to be an effective educational method for both the lower and upper grades. The most appropriate nutrition education media appeared to be a mock-up in the lower grades, and an experiment kit in the upper grades. Games and videos were highly considered to be effective media to educate students in reducing sugars consumption by voluntary participation in free time in the classroom in both the lower and upper grades.
Nutrition education programs focusing on sugars intake reduction were conducted in some elementary schools, but the training time was short and the types of activities were limited. The perception and demand for nutrition education was very high. Therefore, the development and dissemination of elementary school-based nutritional education programs for sugars intake reduction is urgently needed. Moreover, to develop an effective nutrition education program, the education environment and demand in the field should be fully considered.


nutrition education; reducing sugars intake; nutrition teachers; elementary school
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