Promoting healthy eating in childhood: results from the COcONUT (Children PrOmOting Nutrition throUght Theatre) project

Vincenza Gianfredi, Gaia Bertarelli, Liliana Minelli, Daniele Nucci*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Despite several international initiatives aimed to contrast childhood overweight and obesity, these still represent a major public health problem. Recently, the World Health Organization called for a new type of preventive action, requiring stakeholders from both governments and civil society, to play a decisive role in shaping healthy environments, especially for children.

METHODS: COcONUT (Children PrOmOting Nutrition throUght Theatre) was a nutrition education project, involving children aged 5-12 years, aimed to raise awareness on healthy eating, through theatrical and practical workshops. Within this project we conducted an observational study assessing i) children adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, using the KIDMED questionnaire, and ii) parental nutritional knowledge and families' food habits using the ZOOM8 questionnaire. The non-parametric Wilcoxon and the McNemar's test were used. Statistical significance was fixed p<0.05.

RESULTS: Our data show a statistically significant improvement in Mediterranean Diet adherence among children (p=0.0004). Moreover, we found positive trends in some families' food habits, as for instance less perceived barriers in fruits/vegetables/pulses consumption, less perceived barriers in doing sports and less consumption of unhealthy snacks.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirm the important role played by funny and active learning in health promotion initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMinerva Pediatrics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2021

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