Impacto de uma intervenção de educação alimentar na qualidade das refeições intermédias de crianças que frequentam o 3º ano de escolaridade

  • Beatriz de Oliveira Santos (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Introduction: We’ve never talked so much about the role of a healthy diet since childhood. However, the fight against obesity is still far from being overcome. Children spend a huge part of their time in school, where they eat several meals. The school allows to include other groups, like parents, teachers, school employees and even the local community, making it a good place for nutrition education interventions. In this project, it was intended to empower children to make healthy choices, in order to be able to live healthier, making them an informed consumer, able to make choices in a food world where they are really difficult due to the existing variety, easy access and also the marketing that is used by the food industry. Objectives: Improve the quality of intermediate meals – breakfast and snacks, specifically increasing fruit consumption and decreasing of sugar rich products. Methods: A quasi-experimental study design was used, where 14 classes of the 3rd degree of elementary school were included. The intervention took place throughout a school year and included a session for parents and the teacher and four sessions with the children. The impact of the project was measured by evaluating snacks on the days of the different sessions and by the evaluation of the breakfast on the first and last sessions and through questionnaires answered by the parents, in the beginning and at the end of the intervention. The quality and relevance of the intervention were evaluated by the parents and the teachers. Results/Discussion: Significant improvements in fruit consumption were observed and their consumption increased significantly throughout the study. In regard to the reduction of the consumption of sugar rich products, the differences weren’t so expressive. There was an increase in the consumption of “milk and dairy products and vegetable drinks” considered acceptable, in both meals. In the groups of “bread and by-products” and “bread accompaniments”, at breakfast and morning snack, there was a decrease in the consumption of foods considered acceptable but there was also a decrease in the consumption of foods considered to be unacceptable, so the result was considered positive. Both teachers and parents evaluated the intervention positively, with 50% of the parents acknowledging that it contributed to improving the eating habits of their children. Conclusion: The methods used in this project proved to be effective for obtaining positive results in children at this group age, mainly regarding the increase of fruit consumption.
Date of Award30 May 2018
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorElisabete Pinto (Supervisor) & Clara Susete Dias da Silva (Co-Supervisor)


  • Nutrition education
  • School
  • Child obesity and intermediate meals


  • Mestrado em Biotecnologia e Inovação

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