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Providing a sound theoretical base and appropriate skills at early ages through nutrition education to improve food consumption patterns in Sri Lanka

Authors:

A.M. Karunaratne ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About A.M.
Department of Botany
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B. S. Nanayakkara

University of Peradeniya, LK
About B. S.
Department of Botany
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Abstract

In Sri Lankan schools, the topic of food and nutrition is included from Grade 1 onwards until secondary school, and beyond depending on the field of specialization. In spite of that, national nutritional statistics indicate that the nation’s food consumption patterns are far from satisfactory. Marginal deficiencies in micronutrients known as hidden hunger, and unhealthy excess weight gain associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) even among school children are current day issues pertaining to malnutrition. The cereal-based Sri Lankan diet typically low in animal sources of food could be converted to a more wholesome diet with only simple modifications. Educating the future generation on core nutritional concepts specified by the National Nutritional Policy will carry the message of nutrition to society and will enable strengthening the countrywide food security. The present review argues that deficiencies in food consumption patterns could be rectified with minimal changes to the school curricula by systematically introducing relevant nutritional information from Grade 1 onwards, gradually developing to secondary education level. Incorporating general nutritional concepts to the curricula, first concentrating on compulsory subjects, before Grade 11 and thereafter providing specialized knowledge when the students are divided into different streams, thus aligning the content with the specialization called for, is envisaged to have an immediate impact on the society. This review identifies some topics to be included and skills to be developed at each level to provide a systematic means of rectifying unhealthy eating patterns. This is an endeavor where nutritionists and educationists have to work together with the common goal of resolving the nation’s nutritional problems.
How to Cite: Karunaratne, A. M., & Nanayakkara, B. S. (2022). Providing a sound theoretical base and appropriate skills at early ages through nutrition education to improve food consumption patterns in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science, 51(1), 3–19. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjs.v51i1.7974
Published on 14 Mar 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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