Objective: The objective of this study was to ascertain the knowledge of students on the composition of a healthy diet, daily nutritional requirements and the importance of regular exercise.
Method: A cross-sectional survey using a self-administered questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions to assess students’ knowledge on diet, nutrition and exercise was conducted. The study group were students of Tswaing High School in Pretoria, South Africa, who were in attendance on a particular day when the study was conducted and who consented to participate in the study. Only 500 students of the school participated in the study.
Results: Results showed that 77% of the students do not have adequate knowledge on diet, nutrition and exercise while 23% of the students showed satisfactory knowledge. Approximately 26% and 16% of the students reported that they participated in rigorous and moderate exercise respectively. The study also showed that the majority of the students were however not engaged in physical activities.
Conclusion: Students at Tswaing High School do not have adequate knowledge on nutrition, diet and exercise. Their views on what exercise entails were found not to be satisfactory. Programmes/ information or seminars that could assist to inform students on the importance of diet and exercise are therefore suggested.