OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of an educational intervention to improve children's knowledge of the sugar content of food and beverages.
METHODS: Cluster-randomized, controlled trial with 268 children (aged 10-12 years) from 14 primary schools in Aberdeen, Scotland. The intervention group received 2 interactive classroom sessions about sugar. A questionnaire to assess knowledge was completed at baseline and 4, 10, and 34 weeks postintervention. Dietary intake was assessed by food frequency questionnaire at baseline and on weeks 10 and 34.
RESULTS: After the intervention, the intervention group demonstrated greater knowledge of sugar than did the control group (P < .001), which was sustained at week 34 (P < .001). Dietary intakes of sugar did not change postintervention. Pre-intervention children underestimated the sugar content of fruit-based beverages.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Children's knowledge of sugar in food and beverages is limited but can be improved through a simple educational intervention. Further intervention would be needed to encourage a change in dietary intake.
- cluster-randomized controlled trial