Exploring the knowledge, attitudes, perceptions and practices of teachers around obesity and nutrition related non-communicable diseases
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Introduction: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are among the leading causes of premature death in South Africa. As is the case with many countries in transition, in South Africa the burden of pre-NCDs such as overweight and obesity is increasing. The aim of this mixed method study was to gain an understanding on the knowledge, attitudes, practices and perceptions and related factors of primary and secondary school teachers in Limpopo Province of South Africa regarding nutrition related non-communicable diseases (NR-NCDs). Methodology: A mixed method approach, parallel convergent study design was used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data from a group of randomly selected public school teachers in Rakwadu Circuit, Limpopo, with due consideration of the ethical issues involved. For the quantitative inquiry, a previously validated structured questionnaire was adapted to collect data from 114 teachers, while 2 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted by the researcher to collect the qualitative data. Information collected included teachers‟ dietary practices, physical activity levels and their knowledge, attitudes and perceptions towards nutrition related non-communicable diseases. Each of these variables had a number of questions which were scored and a mean score for each participant was obtained. Anthropometric measurements collected included Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC).