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Teachers knowledge of the influence of nutrition on childrens mental performance in four European countries

Lopez Robles, J, Egan, B, Brands, B, Gyoerei, E, Gage, Heather, Raats, M, Koletzko, B, Decsi, T and Campoy, C (2011) Teachers knowledge of the influence of nutrition on childrens mental performance in four European countries In: 11th European Nutrition Conference (FENS), 2011-10-26 - 2011-10-29, Madrid, Spain.

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Introduction: Nutrition plays an important role in the development of children affecting them physically and mentally. Teachers are in a unique position to observe what factors influence a child’s cognitive development and performance hence it’s important to understand if they perceive diet to have an effect on mental performance. Objectives: Examine teachers’ understanding of the effect of diet on children’s mental performance, using semi-structured interviews. Method/Design: The study was conducted in England, Germany, Hungary and Spain. Participants were teachers of children aged 4-10 years old recruited in state elementary schools. Semi-structured interviews were used to ask what they thought about the effects of diet on mental performance. Responses were recorded, coded and group analysed using the Nudist-Vivo 8.0 program. Reports on the national data from each country were analysed to make cross- country comparisons. Results: Preliminary analysis reveals that teachers highlight having a healthy diet affects mental aspects of children’s lives. The principal aspects of mental performance mentioned by them were attention and concentration. Most of the teachers expressed the opinion that hunger acts as a barrier to concentrating in class. Many teachers recognized an association between low levels of attention and students not having breakfast: it was highlighted as an important habit to avoid lethargy or becoming tired quickly throughout the school day. Teachers also noted unhealthy foods (sweets and junk foods) provide a quick burst of energy in a short period of time but also Irritability, nervousness or hyperactivity resulting in an inability to concentrate. Conclusions: Teachers perceive diet has a direct influence on the ability of children to concentrate, as well as on their mood and behavior. Their opinion of what a child eats affecting their health and development is closely linked to some specific foods which teachers label as “unhealthy”. Study Supported by 7th Framework Programme (NUTRIMENTHE Grant-agreement: 212652)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Lopez Robles, J
Egan, B
Brands, B
Gyoerei, E
Raats, M
Koletzko, B
Decsi, T
Campoy, C
Date : 2011
Uncontrolled Keywords : Teachers, Knowledge, Nutrition, Children, Mental, Performance
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:51
Last Modified : 01 Aug 2018 09:05

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