Nutrition education in the official programs for preventing vitamin A deficiency in Brazil

Lívia Penna Firme Rodrigues Maria José Roncada About the authors

The objective of this article is to identify the insertion of nutrition education in the official Brazilian programs for the prevention of vitamin A deficiency in Brazil, in the period from 1968 to 2008. The employed methodology was a literature and document research, analyzing the official documents kept by the General Coordination of Food and Nutrition Policies of the Ministry of Health regarding national governmental programs for the prevention and control of vitamin A deficiency. The trajectory of nutrition education in the official programs for the prevention of Vitamin A deficiency in Brazil is described, from its implementation to the present days. Nutrition education was found to be recommended but not done. This happens because the actions proposed by the official programs are solitary actions when in fact they should be inserted in a health-promoting public policy. In this sense, the current program for the prevention of vitamin A deficiency has improved, since it recommends breastfeeding and healthy eating habits as essential factors for its prevention, measures that promote health. In conclusion, as nutrition education advances and is established as part of a trans-sector health-promoting public policy, healthy eating habits become part of Brazilians' daily life, preventing not only vitamin A deficiency, but also other nutritional deficiencies and non-communicable chronic diseases.

Vitamin A deficiency; Food and nutrition education; Health promotion

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