School programs effectively inform the students about healthy body weight and nutrition to improve their health-related knowledge, thus they may have positive impact on the students obesity-related dietary behaviors and healthy lifestyle. However, in order to develop an effective educational program, it is imperative to determine the obesity-related nutrition knowledge that the students have.
Objective: This cross-sectional study aims to examine the levels of obesity-related nutrition knowledge possessed by secondary schools students in Hebron and evaluate the relationship between the nutrition knowledge with dietary practices.
Methods: A total of 469 students average age of 16±0.671 years who were randomly selected from four different areas in Hebron, following the stratified random sampling procedures. A dichotomous questionnaire, consisted of 16 items, was used to investigate the nutrition and obesity knowledge. Data collection included: age, gender, weight classification, parent’s level of education and eating behaviours.
Results: The analysis showed low levels of obesity-related knowledge among the study sample, as indicated by the low mean scores of students’ correct answers (9.7±3.3). Significant higher mean scores were found in favor of female students (p<0.05); scientific stream students (p<0.01), with no significant correlations with students' dietary practices.
Conclusion: This highlights the need to develop interventional and educational school programs in Palestine. This would increase students' awareness of obesity-related knowledge, and at the same time, promote the idea of a healthy diet and lifestyle to them