Educating Dental Students About Diet-Related Behavior Change: Does Experiential Learning Work?
The objective of this study was to explore whether an experiential exercise in a nutrition class would a) increase dental students' motivation to change their own diet-related behavior, b) improve their understanding of theoretical concepts related to behavior change, and c) improve their attitudes towards educating their patients about diet-related behavior. Data were collected from 218 senior dental students in one dental school (2010: 106; 2011: 112) during their nutrition class. The students agreed at the beginning that it was important to change their own diet-related behavior. After one week, the majority agreed that they had changed how they felt and thought about the targeted behavior and what they actually did. After three weeks and at the end of the term, they rated the exercise as helpful for gaining a better understanding of health education theories. The majority indicated that the exercise had helped them understand the difficulty of diet-related behavior change and that it had increased their interest in helping patients change their diet-related behavior. In conclusion, this study suggests that experiential learning about diet-related behavior change is likely to affect students' own behavior positively and to result in increased understanding of behavior change theories and positive behavioral intentions concerning future health education efforts with patients.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oral health is related to diet in many ways, for example, nutritional influences on craniofacial development, oral cancer and oral infectious diseases. Dental diseases impact considerably on self-esteem and quality of life and are expensive to treat. The objective of this paper is to review the evidence for an association between nutrition, diet and dental diseases and to present dietary recommendations for their prevention. Nutrition affects the teeth during development and malnutrition may exacerbate periodontal and oral infectious diseases. However, the most significant effect of nutrition on teeth is the local action of diet in the mouth on the development of dental caries and enamel erosion. Dental erosion is increasing and is associated with dietary acids, a major source of which is soft drinks. Despite improved trends in levels of dental caries in developed countries, dental caries remains prevalent and is increasing in some developing countries undergoing nutrition transition. There is convincing evidence, collectively from human intervention studies, epidemiological studies, animal studies and experimental studies, for an association between the amount and frequency of free sugars intake and dental caries. Although other fermentable carbohydrates may not be totally blameless, epidemiological studies show that consumption of starchy staple foods and fresh fruit are associated with low levels of dental caries. Fluoride reduces caries risk but has not eliminated dental caries and many countries do not have adequate exposure to fluoride. It is important that countries with a low intake of free sugars do not increase intake, as the available evidence shows that when free sugars consumption is <15-20 kg/yr ( approximately 6-10% energy intake), dental caries is low. For countries with high consumption levels it is recommended that national health authorities and decision-makers formulate country-specific and community-specific goals for reducing the amount of free sugars aiming towards the recommended maximum of no more than 10% of energy intake. In addition, the frequency of consumption of foods containing free sugars should be limited to a maximum of 4 times per day. It is the responsibility of national authorities to ensure implementation of feasible fluoride programmes for their country.0Comments 257Citations
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity is recognized as a growing public health problem. The authors surveyed dental hygiene and dental students from one institution regarding education, knowledge, perceived professional duties, and attitudes toward the overweight and obese population. Half of the respondents reported no obesity education prior to professional dental education, and 80 percent received five hours or less while in professional training. While most students held a generally positive attitude regarding obese and overweight patients, a number of students demonstrated evidence of negative stereotyping. Obesity education and training must be integrated into dental education to permit greater understanding of coexisting medical problems, explore the basis for a negative attitude and work toward its elimination, and raise public health awareness within dentistry.0Comments 22Citations
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of milk on dental caries was studied on a sample of 6-to-11-year-old Italian schoolchildren. The daily amount of milk consumed and the frequency of consumption of sucrose-containing foods were obtained by a 24-hour dietary diary. In the subsequent oral examination, the level of visible plaque and the number of decayed, extracted and filled teeth (both primary and permanent) of the children were recorded. 439 children (217 boys) who did not use fluoride prophylaxis and with poor oral hygiene were selected from among 890 children. They were divided into three groups according to the frequency of sucrose consumption. The data were statistically analysed using multiple logistic regression. The children consumed a daily average of 209 +/- 133 ml of milk and there were no differences among the three groups in this respect. As expected, the dental health of the children with low sucrose frequency was significantly better than that of the children with high sucrose frequency. The regression on the whole sample showed a weak, significant, negative association between milk consumption and caries (p < 0.05). In the group of high sucrose-consuming children a negative, highly significant association was found (p < 0.001), while in the two groups of low and moderate sucrose-consuming children no association was found. These data suggest that, in the present sample of children who did not use fluoride and with poor oral hygiene, milk has a caries preventive effect only on those subjects with a high daily sucrose-consuming frequency.0Comments 34Citations