Online Program

Improving Health Status of Students in Less Developed Areas in China-An Nutrition Education-based Intervention Program

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Xiuhua Shen, MD, Ph.D, Nutrition Department, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
Xuanxia Mao, Nutrition Deaprtment, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
Jianrong Xu, MSN, Shanghai Office, Project HOPE, Shanghai, China
Jingyan (Tracy) Huang, RD, Shanghai Office, Project HOPE, Shanghai, China
INTRODUCTION: To respond to the need for improving dietary management for children in poor areas of China, this hybrid program incorporates nutrition education interventions with a Chinese government financial intervention from 2012 to 2013 in an effort to improve the nutritional status of 2046 students from 9 primary schools in poverty-stricken counties of Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces.

APPROACH:  Interventions included lectures on nutrition and distribution of locally appropriate educational materials on nutrition. School cafeteria staff were trained to prepare nutritionally complete meals and provided with a government subsidy of 3 Chinese yuan per day per student to purchase food. A program evaluation was conducted to compare health outcomes with baseline data.

RESULTS:  Preliminary data showed improvement in dietary habits scores (14.4±3.1before vs 16.9±3.7after), nutritional knowledge scores (8.3±4.1 vs 17.8±5.8) and attitude scores (11.0±5.1 vs 17.7±4.7) (all p<0.05, the three scores were evaluated by students and parents on questionnaires). The wasting rate (Weight for height-WHZ) was reduced significantly from 9.1% to 5.6% (p<0.05) compared with baseline while anemia rates had no significant change after intervention.

DISCUSSION:  Nourishment during school hours is critical. The program seeks to establish evidence-based approaches and to provide interventions in order to supply reference data for the newly initiated policy to improve rural area students’ nutrition and health status. Government financial policy on dietary improvement will be more impactful to combine with educational interventions.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the impact of an education-based nutrition program combined with government policy

Keyword(s): Nutrition, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm the program manager of several public health programs in China and have been trained as a pediatric nutritionist in medical university.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.