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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


LIMA, Eronides da Silva; MONTEIRO, Emilia Aureliano de Alencar  and  ANDRADE, Astrogilda Paes de. Nutritional education in primary schools of Pernambuco, Brazil: a diagnosis. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1985, vol.19, n.6, pp.508-520. ISSN 1518-8787.

The state of nutritional education in elementary schools in Pernambuco, Brazil, was studied. The "Proposta Curricular de Ciências" (Proposal for science curriculum) - a publication of the Pernambuco Office of Education - which contains the "Programas de Saúde" (Health programs), was analyzed and the actual behavior of students in the alst (8th) grade in relation to previously defined objectives was surveyed. The suvey covered 391 students from state schools and 370 from private schools in the metropolitan area of Recife (the State capital). A 37-item questionnaire was used to determine what the students had been aught and how much they had learned concerning Nutrition, as well as to identify the subjects they would be most interested in learning. The opinion of elementary school teachers was surveyed by means of a questionnaire consisting of four questions having to do with general aspects of Nutrition and Health and the contents of the current "Programas de Saúde". Significant differences as concerns private schol students were found with regard to 12 questions (40% of the cognitive test items). Such results are evidence of the fact that such students have greater knowledge of the themes presented. However, 33% of the state school students rated the content they had been taught as insufficient, and 44% as acceptable. Private school students choosing the same ratings comprised 28% and 44% respectively. The opinion of elementary school teachers coincided with that of the students, rating Nutrition as the second priority area in teaching. On the basis of such results it has been found that there is no systematized program for the teaching of Nutrition in elementary schools in Pernambuco. A redefinition of objectives and contents in that area is thus necessary.

Keywords : Child nutrition; Health education; Child, school.

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