Evaluating nutrition education programs on two Caribbean islands, St. Kitts and St. Lucia

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This investigation of Applied Nutrition Programmes (ANP) in the Caribbean islands of St. Lucia and St. Kitts included an examination of educational methods causing improvement of food habits, and assessment of indices denoting improvement. Schools and health centres were designated Pilot if included in ANP and Control if not. For three consecutive years from 1966, weight-height data were obtained from approximately 5,000 school-children, of whom 131 Pilot and 146 Control participated in five-day food recall interviews each year of study. A total of 540 mothers and 592 children of three years and younger were included in weight-height-length and one-day food recall investigations. Between 1966 and 1969 data collection, ANP operated in Pilot schools, health centres, and communities. ANP methods of improving food habits included home and school participation in improved crop and poultry production, and preparation and consumption of produce. Practical nutrition education was integrated into the curriculum of schools, teachers' training, and student nurses. Numerical results of the data analysis were approximately: St. Lucia Pilot - 80 percent; Control - 30 percent of all indices score; St. Kitts Pilot and Control - 60 percent of weight-height points; Pilot - 50 percent; Control - 40 percent of food intake score. It was concluded that ANP had been chiefly responsible for improvement in food habits reflected in better weight-height-length of Pilot participants


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