School-Based Self-Care Model for the Assessment of Nutritional Status: A New Strategy for Prevention

Shobha S Karikatti, Praveena R Gunagi, Sunanda Halki


Introduction: Nutritional status of children is a critical determinant of child’s health. The challenges of malnutrition among schoolchildren are due to lack of nutrition education, nutrition policies, public health capacity for assessment, and timely intervention of malnutrition. This calls for a need to improve the capacity of schoolchildren in nutrition care. The study aimed to assess the effectiveness of “School-Based Self-Care intervention Model” among schoolchildren. Methodology: A non-randomized trial was planned in schools with the required sample size of 240 in each study and control groups. Study group received intervention in which students were trained in nutrition assessment and monitoring. Outcomes were analyzed using descriptive and interferential (paired t-tests and Chi-square tests of independence) statistics. Results: The knowledge improved after the intervention about body mass index (BMI) (30.4–83.8%), the calculation of BMI (24.2–86.7), monitoring of weight (65.8–70.0%), and monitoring of height (44.6–61.3%). The proportion of students having adequate skill score (score >4) increased for weight (27.1–85.9%), height (21.5–89.6%), and waist measurement (10–76.7%). Most of children (98%) could calculate BMI, classify, and interpret the nutritional status. Discussion and Conclusion: The present “School- Based Self-Care Intervention Model” was effective in empowering the schoolchildren with basic health skills and the model enable children to assess nutrition status among themselves, their friends, and adult members. It is one of the cost-effective models which can be used at primary level.

Key words: Anthropometry, intervention model, monitoring, nutrition status, school-based approach, self-care model

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