Management in Health, Vol 21, No 1 (2017)

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DIETICIANS’ PERSPECTIVES ON TAILORING NUTRITION INTERVENTIONS FOR ROMANIAN ADOLESCENTS

Irina MĂRCULESCU, Alexandra SIDOR

Abstract


OBJECTIVES

Dieticians play a key role in educating the public on matters regarding diet and health. One intervention area that could benefit from dieticians’ perspective is the design of effective interventions addressing adolescent’ eating behaviours. This study aimed to analyse dieticians’ needs, preferences and attitudes toward nutrition interventions addressing adolescents.

METHODS

The study design involved a qualitative analysis, using semi-structured interviews in order to explore the areas of interest. We interviewed 10 dieticians having at least three years of practice in nutrition counselling, working inside a state-owned or private organization delivering nutrition related activities and implementing at least one activity addressing nutrition in children and adolescents. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

RESULTS

Dieticians participating in the interviews manifested a general consensus towards the urgency of addressing adolescents’ eating habits by targeting adolescents’ attitudes towards healthy eating. Study results allowed us to describe the characteristics of effective nutrition intervention falling under six categories: methods of dissemination, nutrition knowledge, participants, trainers, intervention context and intervention time and duration.

CONCLUSIONS

Knowledge-based, behavioural and environmental interventions targeting adolescents' dietary patterns are not sufficient in improving adolescents' dietary patterns. Practitioners should aim at designing school-based nutrition interventions addressing adolescents' specific needs and rely on the needs assessment process as a major component of the design.

 

Keywords: adolescents, dieticians, needs and preferences, school based nutrition interventions


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Journal published by SNSPMS