The George Institute For Global Health
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China
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Establishment and assessment of a school-student-family interactive health promotion model to reduce dietary sodium and oil intake (SSF)

Project status: 
Archived
Start date: 
03/2011

The purpose of this study is to explore a school-student-family interactive health promotion model for diet.

The China National Nutrition and Health Survey in 2002 showed that people eating too much oil and salt had been a major problem in daily diet among Chinese residents. Under the background of “one-child” police in China, there were many benefits for the students personally to measure the usage of dietary oil and salt of the whole family as the main method of health promotion such as to improve children’s practice ability, to promote family member to develop a healthy diet habit, and to make a closer relationship among schools, students and parents.

Based on these ideas, the current study had established a school-student-family interactive health promotion model to reduce dietary sodium and oil intake, and assessed the effectiveness through a controlled intervention trial.

Issue

Convincing evidence showed that high dietary oil and salt intake increased the risk of chronic disease. Too much lipid consumption was related to the incidence of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Excessive sodium intake was the risk factor of hypertension, congestive heart failure, brain stroke and coronary heart disease.

The result of China National Nutrition and Health Survey which was a large cross-sectional study carried out in 2002 in a nationally representative sample of the whole population showed that the average oil intake of Chinese residents was 42 g per standard person per day , far more than the recommendation of 25 g or 30 g by Chinese Nutrition Society in 1997, and the average salt intake of Chinese residents was 12 g per standard person per day, which was 2.4 times of the recommendation by World Health Organization.

There were many previous studies on dietary oil and salt reduction, however, because of a variety of reasons, their sustainability was not so good as well as the effect. We had established a school-student-family interactive health promotion model to reduce dietary sodium and oil intake. Since the “one-child” police in China, using the children as the key persons to promote family members with healthy diet could be an innovative attempt and may have a promising result.

Methods

This was a multi-center, controlled intervention study involving eight primary and middle schools in urban and suburban Beijing. Eligible families were those with a child studying at grade 3–5 (primary schools) or grade 7–8 (middle schools) in the participating schools and willing to participate in the study.

The eight schools were randomly divided into control group and intervention group. Subjects in the intervention group received a series of school-student-family interactive health promotion activities while no special activity for control group. The intervention included six activities:

  1. Class-meeting on the special topic “Knowledge on oil control and salt reduction”
  2. School environment construction
  3. Health education course on oil control and salt reduction, “I am the supervisors for family oil and salt usage”
  4. Survey on food students consumed most
  5. Oil and salt survey during summer vacation
  6. An essay contest.

Self-administered questionnaires were completed by students and their parents, who were well trained, before and after the intervention. After six months intervention, we compared the differences of amount and sources of dietary oil and salt intake between the two groups. The differences of students and their parents knowledge, attitude and behavior on oil and salt consumption were also compared.

Scope

514 households were eligible and 373 completed the whole study in which 199 were in the intervention group and the other 174 were in the control group.

Results

After intervention, both students and their parents knowledge were increased significantly, and their attitude and behavior on oil control and salt reduction were also improved. The amount of oil and salt intake decreased in both groups, but there were no significant differences of reduction between the two groups.