Classroom Teachers’ Attitudes to Nutrition Education and the School Food Environment: An Online Survey in Turkey

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Aktaş N., Contento I. R., Güldemir O., Koch P. A.

Journal of Health, Medicine and Nursing, no.75, pp.71-78, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


The objective of this study to determine the attitudes of elementary school teachers in Turkey towards nutrition education, nutrition courses in schools and the school food environment and to analyze differences by gender. The study used a cross-sectional online survey design. Descriptive statistics were used for the demographic characteristics and teachers’ attitudes. Teachers’ attitudes by gender were analyzed using independent t tests. Participants were 1796 elementary classroom teachers in 527 schools, 56% male. Teachers rated highly that classroom nutrition education is very important (mean = 4.17 on a 5-point scale), and should be practical (3.66); that nutrition taught as a separate subject was more likely to be effective (3.99) and government agencies, universities, and teachers should collaborate to provide it (4.34). They agreed that the school food environment can have a positive influence on student nutrition habits (4.32). Women teachers judged all attitude statements more positively than men, many significantly so. Classroom teachers have very positive attitudes towards practical nutrition education in the classroom and improving the school food environment. Providing teachers with the necessary culturally-based curricula and skills and having them collaborate with relevant agencies and organizations may contribute to their effectiveness.