Background: Explore associations between nutrition, science, and mathematics knowledge to provide evidence that integrating food/nutrition education in the fourth-grade curriculum may support gains in academic knowledge.
Methods: Secondary analysis of a quasi-experimental study. Sample included 438 students in 34 fourth-grade classrooms across North Carolina and Ohio; mean age 10 years old; gender (I = 53.2% female; C = 51.6% female). Dependent variable = post-test-nutrition knowledge; independent variables = baseline-nutrition knowledge, and post-test science and mathematics knowledge. Analyses included descriptive statistics and multiple linear regression.
Results: The hypothesized model predicted post-nutrition knowledge (F(437) = 149.4, p < .001; Adjusted R = .51). All independent variables were significant predictors with positive association.
Conclusions: Science and mathematics knowledge were predictive of nutrition knowledge indicating use of an integrative science and mathematics curriculum to improve academic knowledge may also simultaneously improve nutrition knowledge among fourth-grade students. Teachers can benefit from integration by meeting multiple academic standards, efficiently using limited classroom time, and increasing nutrition education provided in the classroom.
Keywords: integration; mathematics; nutrition; nutrition knowledge; science.
© 2018, American School Health Association.