Best Strategies to Improve School‑leavers’ Knowledge of Nutrition and Food Systems: Views from Experts in Iran

Sanaz Sadegholvad, Heather Yeatman, Nasrin Omidvar, Anne‑Maree Parrish, Anthony Worsley

Abstract


Background: The research to date does not present an articulated approach to ensure nutrition and food systems education is systematically implemented within schools. This paper aimed to investigate food experts’ views of the best strategies to improve school‑leavers’ knowledge of nutrition and food systems.

Methods: In this qualitative study, 28 Iranian food and nutrition experts from four major provinces (Tehran, Fars, Isfahan, and Gilan) were selected and agreed to be interviewed. Required
data were collected through in‑depth, semi‑structured, face‑to‑face, or telephone interviews and were analyzed thematically using NVivo.

Results: The experts’ suggested strategies to improve Iranian school‑leavers’ knowledge of nutrition and food systems fell into three key themes: Policy, education processes, and supportive
environments. Together they formed an overarching theme of a multileveled system approach for transferring knowledge.

Conclusions: Development of a scaffolded education program could assist curriculum developers and policy makers to assess and update current nutrition and food systems education programs in schools. Insights gained about education initiatives in one country such as Iran can provide an important impetus to support nutrition and food system education more widely.

Keywords: Education strategies, food systems, Iran, knowledge, nutrition, school‑leavers


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