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USDA Funds Published Research in Video-Based Nutrition Education

As part of the USDA-funded McGovern-Dole International Food For Education and Child Nutrition Program in Cameroon, a video-based nutrition education initiative conducted by the University of Illinois’s AgReach program and Nascent Solutions, successfully improved the knowledge of nutrition of primary school students in 25 schools in the North Region of Cameroon. Students were shown videos on topics including nutrients, food groups, the importance of eating a diverse diet, handwashing, food safety, and wellness. Nutrition knowledge was assessed using a pre–post questionnaire and analyzed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), which revealed a statistically significant uptake of knowledge through video-based instruction, compared to traditional classroom delivery of lessons (evaluated in 25 control schools). This initiative adds to the body of knowledge on the efficacy of video-based instruction in general, and specifically for diet and nutrition.

Malnutrition rates in the developing world are increasingly driven by undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and over- weight and obesity. These elements contribute to morbidity and mortality, as well as physical and cognitive developmental impairments. To eliminate malnutrition in all forms by 2030 in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 targets, a multifaceted approach addressing all causes is needed. Educating communities, which may have access to, or the means to produce and acquire requisite foods, but lack nutrition knowledge, will contribute to better health, and general education and nutrition outcomes. The success of the University of Illinois AgReach and Nascent Solutions’ video-based nutrition education initiative demonstrates the efficacy of the model. The findings published in the Global Health Promotion journal found here, present a replicable modality for mitigating a significant cause of malnutrition in the developing world.