GCH420_Ch1 - EFFECTIVE NUTRITION EDUCATION FOR BEHAVIOR...

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EFFECTIVE NUTRITION EDUCATION FOR BEHAVIOR CHANGE Part I \ PRTNCIPLES OF. NUTRITION EDUCATIOT'.{ AT. .{D BEHAVIOR CHAI\GE
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EFFECTIVE NUTRITION EDUCATION FOR BEHAVIOR CHANGE Chapter 1 Introduction to Nutrition Education WTIAT IS NUTRITION EDUCATION? Several definitions have been used to describe nutrition education, some addressing behavior change and others concentrating on channels of communication used to disseminate nukition information. For this self-directed accredited learning program I will embrace both perspectives. Johnson and Johnson (1985) define the process ofnutrition education as "the teaching of validated, correct nutrition knowledge in ways that promote the development and maintenance of positive attitudes toward, and actual behavioral habits, eating nutritious foods (within budgetary and cultural constraints) that contribute to the maintenance of good health, weil-being, and productivlty (p. S1)." Simply put, nutrition education is the process of teaching people about nutrition and eating. The goal of nutrition education is to improve the nutritional status of individuals through positive behavior change. The purpose is to prevent nutritional deficiencies and chronic diseases, and to improve qualtty of life. THE JOB OF TIIE NUTRITION EDUCATOR The nutrition educator translates the science of nutrition into terms that are comprehended by the general public. Ths nutrition educator's job is muitifaceted. It begins by designing programs and interventions; progresses to implementing them; and finally, to evaluating their effect on changing the dietary behavior of the target audience. Any nutrition professional can play the role of an educator; however, nutrition educators are most often found in: . :! ,:,'+l : :]:::::: ':at. ..::] -=-a ,.;::i l.-i 'gr .:: :.; : ':.i:,1
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EFFECTIVE NUTRITION EDUCATION FOR BEHAVIOR CHANGE . government food and nutrition programs, such as The Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program @FNEP); . federal and state govemment agencies overseeing food and nutrition assistance programs; . private food companies, such as Dole and Kraft General Foods; . hospitals, counseling patients; . the private sector, counseling clients; . universities, conducting research and teaching students majoring in nutrition; and, . entrepreneurial positions, as speakers or nutrition writers. The level of knowledge required for a nutrition educator is quite diverse compared to other nutrition professionals. For example, a laboratory-bench nutrition scientist researching the effect of folic acid on pregnant laboratory animals would need to have certain laboratory skills to conduct the experiment, familiarity with basic nutrition principles related to folic acid, an in- depth understanding of pregnancy, and an awareness of the animal model being used. Besides
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GCH420_Ch1 - EFFECTIVE NUTRITION EDUCATION FOR BEHAVIOR...

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