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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

On-line version ISSN 1812-9528


CABALLERO-GARCIA, Cristina Raquel; FLORES-ALATORRE, José Francisco; BONILLA-FERNANDEZ, Pastor  and  ARENAS-MONREAL, Luz. Health promotion experiences in Mexican elementary schools. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2017, vol.15, n.1, pp.22-32. ISSN 1812-9528.

Schools are an ideal environment to create healthy spaces and practices. The objective of this study was to evaluate an educational intervention at schools in Mexico in the areas of nutrition and feeding, dental health, hygiene and school link to health services. This quasi-experimental, qualitatative and quantitatative multicenter study took place at four public elementary schools in the states of Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos and Sonora. Nutrition status and prevalence of cavities in schoolchildren were determined. Focus groups and questionnaires of pre-post educational intervention were conducted. Similar feeding, dental care and hygiene habits were found across all four states. The prevalence of malnutrition among the states was 7.5% to 13.7%, prevalence of overweight students was 13.1% to 20.0% and that of obesity was 9.0% to 12.5%. Prevalence of cavities was 12.4% to 86.9%. The positive changes in knowledge about oral health care and hygiene were greater than those achieved on knowledge about feeding and nutrition. Better access of school children to healthcare was facilitated by coordination between the educational and health sectors plus active participation of the parents. It was concluded that in order to achieve better results it is crucial to extend participation in these activities to the whole school community (teachers, mothers / fathers, school children) as well as to the surrounding community to strengthen not only knowledge but healthy eating, hygiene and dental health practices.

Keywords : health promotion; health education; schoolchildren.

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