Nutrition education is an essential factor for the improvement of the nutritional status and people's wellbeing. The International Conference on Nutrition (ICN), jointly organized by FAO and WHO in December 1992 with the participation of 159 countries has again recommended nutrition education as a priority. This Guide is written as a methodological and practical tool for the promotion and development of nutrition education particularly in developing countries.
The Guide was prepared by Michel Andrien, a nutrition education specialist, jointly with two FAO divisions, the Food Policy and Nutrition Division, Nutrition Programmes Service, and the Information Division, Development Support Communication Branch. This collaboration has proved to be invaluable for the development of this Guide and enunciated the fact that in the field of nutrition education the role of nutritionists and communicators are not only complimentary but cannot be separated.
The contribution of many researchers and field workers in nutrition education in developing countries has been valuable in building the methodology suggested in the book. We would particularly like to mention the Nutrition Education Network in Africa for their contribution and the meeting of experts on nutrition education held in FAO in 1991 for their recommendations. Also a number of practical experiences in nutrition education carried out throughout the world have allowed us to illustrate the guide with concrete examples.
The Guide is aimed at all those involved in planning and implementation of activities of nutrition education and communication. They are the nutritionists, the communicators, the technicians of health, agriculture and education, all concerned with the subject and often working in teams to develop programmes in nutrition education at local and national level.
A systematic description of planning an intervention programme in social communication in nutrition is provided in the Guide.
In each chapter, a theoretical component is presented along with many examples of field activities. Technical files detailing a know how for implementing a method is given. The idea is to provide the users with the technical skills and practical examples so that all of them will find some useful information for their work according to their responsibility. A selected bibliography is also provided.
Nutrition education is currently the matter of an intense methodological debate and is in a state of perpetual evolution and all the keys for a successful programme have not yet found. This is the first edition of this guide. We plan to revise it after a period of its use in the light of experience gained. We would appreciate your comments and suggestions on the usefulness of the guide and your concrete proposals for its improvement.