Article

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, 8:57

First online:

Effect of a Nutrition Education Program on NutritionRelated Knowledge of English-as-Second-Language Elementary School Students: A Pilot Study

  • Maria C. Garcia-LascurainAffiliated withDepartment of Nutrition, Georgia State UniversityLuis Vives #212depto.6-B, Los Morales
  • , Jana R. KicklighterAffiliated withDepartment of Nutrition, Georgia State UniversityDepartment of Nutrition College of Health and Human Sciences, Georgia State University Email author 
  • , Satya S. JonnalagaddaAffiliated withDepartment of Nutrition, Georgia State UniversityNovartis Medical Nutrition
  • , Erin Atkerson BoudolfAffiliated withNutrition Education for New Americans Project, Department of Anthropology and Geography, Georgia State University1767 Chelwood Circle
  • , Deborah DuchonAffiliated withNutrition Education for New Americans Project, Department of Anthropology and Geography, Georgia State University2060 Deborah Drive

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Abstract

Nutrition programs that target English-as-Second-Language (ESL) students can potentially improve their nutrition knowledge. This pilot study evaluated the effect of a Food Guide Pyramid (FGP) lesson on nutrition knowledge of ESL students (ages 9–12 years) in a refugee after-school program. A pre- and post-FGP lesson one group design was used. A 12-item knowledge questionnaire was administered to students (N = 15) and their opinions about the lesson were obtained. Overall FGP lesson mean knowledge scores did not increase significantly from pretest to posttest; however, scores that measured specific objectives on the ability to identify food groups and the number of servings for food groups increased, while scores on the ability to identify the importance of each food group for health decreased. Overall, students liked the nutrition lesson, described learning mainly about the FGP, and reported no confusing aspects. Findings suggest that nutrition education targeted to ESL students should emphasize foods versus nutrients and promote active learner involvement.

Key Words

nutrition education nutrition knowledge nutrition program ESL students immigrant children