As adolescents constitute around 20% of the total population and near 90% of them are living in developing countries, they need much attention. Moreover, they need to meet their raised nutritional needs because of physiological and sexual growth otherwise, they will susceptible to poor nutritional status. The ultimate goal of the present study was evaluating health literacy and eating habits of adolescent girls before and after a nutrition education program.
The intervention study was implemented on 64 adolescent girls aged between 13-15 years from two governmental girls' high school in Mashhad, Iran. Questionnaires included food frequency, health belief model (HBM), and health literacy (HL) implemented in three stages, before intervention as a pretest, immediately after intervention and two months later for reassessment.
Nutrition education intervention has considerably improved HL and eating habits of adolescent girls. After intervention HL of girls improved from 1.75±1.07 to 4.96±0.96 and their healthy nutritional behavior improved from 1.65±4.92 to 20.62±1.33. After educational interventions, all HBM constructs and awareness of girls increased significantly.
The results of the present study indicated that education based on health belief model positively affected students’ health literacy and nutritional behaviors.
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