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Abridged Food Education Program for Children Still Helpful

45-minute program leads to significant improvements in food-label literacy

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An abbreviated version of the Nutrition Detectives Program improves students' food-label literacy, according to a study published online April 10 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., from the Yale University Prevention Research Center-Griffin Hospital in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues conducted a pre-post study in a public school district in which fifth-grade students (in five schools) participated in a 45-minute lesson showing students why and how to make healthful food choices. Food-label literacy was the primary outcome.

The researchers found that based on the 212 students completing the pre and post measures there was a significant gain (16.2 percentage points) in overall scores. The results of this 45-minute lesson were similar to those of a previously evaluated 90-minute program.

"The condensed nutrition program improved students' food-label literacy while requiring a minimal allocation of time," the authors write.

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