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Opportunities and Barriers to Public Health Nutrition Education in Vietnamese Universities

  • 31/03/2022
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Background and objectives: a core challenge for low- and middle-income countries (lmics) in combating the negative effects of the nutrition transition is to implement appropriate prevention strategies to halt the increasing prevalence of obesity and non-communicable diseases (ncds), against a background of prevailing under nutrition. There have been several proposals for the enhancement of university nutrition education for future health and related professionals who are expected to communicate knowledge of health risks to the broad community. However, little is known about university nutrition education in lmics. The present study aimed to investigate professional development opportunities and barriers for university nutrition lecturers to teach public health nutrition (phn). Methods and study design: an online survey was conducted among 242 vietnamese health and education professionals and university nutrition lecturers across vietnam. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants. Comparisons of between the groups’ responses were examined via spss crosstabs. The structures of the perceived barriers and desired phn training topics were examined via factor analyses. Multiple linear regression examined the influences on lecturers’ learning interests in nutrition areas. Results: the lecturers’ learning interests spanned four areas: basic nutrition, basic food, food policy and ‘new’ trends (e.G. Food policy, marketing). Major impediments to nutrition teaching in universities divided into two groups: resource limitations and professional constraints (e.G. Lack of relevant training opportunities). The lecturers’ perceptions of professional constraints influenced their interest in learning about ‘new’ trends. Conclusions: the results highlighted the need and opportunities to enhance phn professional development for nutrition lecturers in vietnam.

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