Food and nutrition education in private Indian secondary schools

Rathi, Neha, Riddell, Lynn and Worsley, Anthony 2017, Food and nutrition education in private Indian secondary schools, Health education, vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 193-206, doi: 10.1108/HE-04-2016-0017.

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Title Food and nutrition education in private Indian secondary schools
Author(s) Rathi, NehaORCID iD for Rathi, Neha
Riddell, LynnORCID iD for Riddell, Lynn
Worsley, AnthonyORCID iD for Worsley, Anthony
Journal name Health education
Volume number 117
Issue number 2
Start page 193
End page 206
Total pages 14
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Place of publication Bingley, Eng.
Publication date 2017
ISSN 0965-4283
Keyword(s) curriculum
food and nutrition
Summary Purpose: The current Indian secondary school curriculum has been criticised for its failure to deliver relevant skills-based food and nutrition education for adolescents. The purpose of this paper is to understand the views of adolescents, their parents, teachers and school principals on the present food and nutrition curriculum and the role of the schools in developing food skills.

Design/methodology/approach: Semi-structured interviews were held with 15 students aged 14-15 years, 15 parents, 12 teachers and ten principals in ten private schools in Kolkata, India. The interview questions were primarily based on the content, merits and demerits of the curriculum. The digitally recorded data were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.

Findings: All the 52 interviewees observed that the food and nutrition curriculum created awareness in students about the importance of healthy eating. However, they also described certain weaknesses of the curriculum. These included lack of practical assignments, an out-dated and a limited curriculum, which failed to initiate critical thinking and was contradicted by sales practices in the school food environment. The interviewees prioritised the inclusion of food skills in the curriculum.

Practical implications: The emerging evidence suggests the need for the development of a skills-focussed food and nutrition curriculum to encourage healthy eating behaviours among adolescents.

Originality/value: Most of the work on food and nutrition education has come from developed nations – this is the first study in the Indian context of the secondary school food and nutrition curriculum.
Language eng
DOI 10.1108/HE-04-2016-0017
Field of Research 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920411 Nutrition
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, Emerald Publishing Limited
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