IIER logo 4
Issues in Educational Research, 2024, Vol 34(1), 58-76.
[ Contents Vol 34 ] [ IIER Home ]

Supporting nutrition education in low socioeconomic schools in Western Australia

Susan Hill, Margaret Miller, Amanda Devine, Angela Genoni
Edith Cowan University, Australia

Elizabeth Wenden
Telethon Kids Institute WA, Australia

Matthew Byrne
Edith Cowan University, Australia

School-based nutrition education (NE) has an important role in promoting healthy eating habits and helping prevent chronic diseases - particularly among disadvantaged children and youth who are more likely to experience poor diet quality. However, teachers report being underprepared or time-poor in delivering NE and there is a growing trend for schools to outsource health-related content to external providers. This study evaluated the effect of an experiential NE session on Years 3-12 students (N=1,714) and teachers (N=178), developed and facilitated by a hunger relief charity for low socioeconomic schools that access a school breakfast program. The results showed significant increases (p<0.001) in student knowledge and attitudes towards healthy eating. Teachers indicated they improved their knowledge of how to teach children about healthy eating and were motivated to include more NE in their teaching programs. The study shows that targeted, experiential NE sessions delivered by external experts can improve students' knowledge and attitudes toward healthy eating post-intervention and may reduce barriers to the provision of ongoing teacher-led NE. The opportunities for sustained impact in the context of a school breakfast program are discussed.
[ PDF full text for this article ]

Authors: Dr Susan Hill is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia. Previously a Research Advisor and Senior Research Fellow, her broad research interests include school-based support for students experiencing disadvantage, school and family literacy practices, and post-compulsory education pathways.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1833-2500
Email: susan.hill@ecu.edu.au

Margaret Miller is an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, former Manager of Refresh.ED School Food and Nutrition K-10 Curriculum Support program, and President of the World Public Health Nutrition Association. Her recent research focuses on capacity development for food and nutrition education at professional, school and community levels.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1872-1530
Email: m.miller@ecu.edu.au

Professor Amanda Devine is the Associate Dean of Public Health and OHS and Professor of Public Health and Nutrition in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia. Amanda's research includes food literacy, food security, healthy food environments and the influence of plant-based diets on gut health.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6978-6249
Email: a.devine@ecu.edu.au

Dr Angela Genoni is an Adjunct Nutrition Lecturer in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia. Angela is a health and data scientist and educator, registered nutritionist, and gut microbiome specialist.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8144-2131
Email: a.genoni@ecu.edu.au

Elizabeth Wenden is a Research Assistant/Data Manager at the Telethon Kids Institute, Nedlands, Western Australia and PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia. Her research interests include intergenerational research and health outcomes for children and adolescents. She is currently investigating the implementation of physical activity policy and practice in early education and care centres.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3046-3658
Email: liz.wenden@telethonkids.org.au

Associate Professor Matt Byrne is Associate Dean (Primary) in the School of Education, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia and an Honorary Research Fellow with the Telethon Kids Institute. Matt is an experienced teacher, teacher educator and researcher whose research interests include Aboriginal education, educational leadership, and how health and education can work together to benefit disadvantaged communities.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7335-8001
Email: m.byrne@ecu.edu.au

Please cite as: Hill, S., Miller, M., Devine, A., Genoni, A., Wenden, E. & Byrne, M. (2024). Supporting nutrition education in low socioeconomic schools in Western Australia. Issues in Educational Research, 34(1), 58-76. http://www.iier.org.au/iier34/hill.pdf

[ PDF full text for this article ] [ Contents Vol 34 ] [ IIER Home ]
Published under a Creative Commons licence: Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0)
This URL: http://www.iier.org.au/iier34/hill-abs.html
Created 30 March 2024. Last update: 30 March 2024. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]