Nutrition/Health - Nutrition Knowledge Alone is Not Enough

Nutrition/Health - Nutrition Knowledge Alone is Not Enough

Dick Moss

Does better knowledge of healthy nutrition produce healthier body weights in school-aged children?

No, according to a study at the University of Southern Missouri. The researchers found no significant relationship between nutritional knowledge and body mass index among students.

The Study
The study involved 55 boys and 28 girls between ages of 7-12 who were attending the 2004 Lifetime Sports Academy at Missouri State University. The body mass index of the children was compared to their knowledge of good nutritional practices.

It was found that the older children tended to have better nutritional knowledge, but they also exhibited higher BMI readings. Overall, nutritional knowledge and body mass index were not related.

It was concluded that knowledge alone is not enough to produce healthy body weights among school-aged children. While it may be part of the arsenal in the fight against obesity, it is not enough.

Concerned politicians school board administrators…take heed!

Improved knowledge and awareness must be backed up by mandatory measures that enforce healthy change and establish good habits. Reducing the unhealthy food choices in the school cafeteria is one way to accomplish this.

Instituting Quality Daily Physical Education is another, since it forces students to engage in daily activity and helps to minimize unhealthy weight gain.

Reference: CHAD MUEHLER, Jean Hobbs, Pat Lipira, "Is Body Mass Index (BMI) Related To Nutrition Knowledge In Children?" (2004 McSwegin Award Paper), Missouri Journal of HPERD, 2006, 16, 94-96.


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