A dose-response analysis of a school-based nutrition intervention in middle school children
Childhood obesity in the US has reached epidemic proportions. Minority children are affected the most by this epidemic. Although there is no clear relationship between obesity and fruits and vegetables consumption, studies suggest that eating fruits and vegetables could be helpful in preventing childhood obesity. A few school-based interventions targeting youth have been effective at increasing fruits and vegetables intake.^ In Austin, Texas, the Sustainable Food Center delivered the Sprouting Healthy Kids (SHK) program that targeted low socio-economic status children in four intervention middle schools. The SHK program delivered six intervention components. This school-based intervention included: a cafeteria component, in-class lessons, an after-school garden program, a field trip to a local farm, food tasting, and farmers' visits to schools. This study aimed to determine the effects of the SHK intervention in middle school students' preferences, motivation, knowledge, and self-efficacy towards fruits and vegetables intake, as well as the actual fruits and vegetables intake. The study also aimed to determine the effects of exposure to different doses of the SHK intervention on participants' fruits and vegetable intake.^ The SHK was delivered during Spring 2009. A total of 214 students completed the pre-and-posttest surveys measuring self-report fruits and vegetables intake as well as intrapersonal factors. The results showed that the school cafeteria, the food tasting, the after school program, and the farmers' visits had a positive effect on the participants' motivation, knowledge, and self-efficacy towards fruits and vegetables intake. The farmers' visits and the food tasting components increased participants' fruits and vegetables intake. Exposure to two or more intervention components increased participants' fruits and vegetables intake. The statistically significant dose-response effect size was .352, which suggests that each intervention component increased participants' fruits and vegetables consumption this amount. Certain intervention components were more effective than others. Food tasting and farmers visits increased participants fruits and vegetables intake, therefore these components should be offered in an ongoing basis. This study suggests that exposure to multiple intervention components increased behaviors and attitudes towards fruits and vegetables consumption. Findings are consistent that SHK can influence behaviors of middle school students.^
Health Sciences, Public Health Education
Jose L Medina,
"A dose-response analysis of a school-based nutrition intervention in middle school children"
(January 1, 2009).
Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest).