PURPOSE – The aim of this review is to critically assess published articles on school-based nutrition
education (NE) intervention to identify factors hindering or contributing to the success of interventions.
School-based NE possesses the capacity to influence learners’ nutrition behaviours.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH – An electronic search of articles was conducted in Medline,
PubMed, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature databases, Google and
snowballing. Included in the review were school-based studies with classroom NE with or without
nutrition services and studies published between 2000 and 2013. School-based non-intervention studies
and interventions that did not include a nutrition teaching component were excluded in the review.
FINDINGS – Thirty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Features of successful NE interventions
included the use of behavioural theories, especially the social cognitive theory and the involvement of
trained teachers in the implementation of interventions. Capacity development for teachers, time
constraints, school policies and implementation problems of multicomponent interventions were some
of the identified challenges encountered in the studies reviewed.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE – Trained teachers are invaluable assets in interventions to improve nutrition
behaviours of learners. Challenges associated with teacher-oriented school-based NE intervention can
be overcome by properly designed and implemented interventions based on behavioural theory.