TITLE

Distributing Free Fresh Fruit and Vegetables at School: Results of a Pilot Outcome Evaluation

AUTHOR(S)
Coyle, Karjn K.; Potter, Susan; Schneider, Doris; May, Gary; Robin, Leah E.; Seymour, Jennifer; Debrot, Karen
PUB. DATE
September 2009
SOURCE
Public Health Reports;Sep/Oct2009, Vol. 124 Issue 5, p660
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Objectives. Consumption of fruit and vegetables among children is generally below recommended levels. This evaluation addressed two questions: (1) To what extent did children's attitudes toward, familiarity with, and preferences for fruit and vegetables change during the school year? and (2) To what extent did children's consumption of fruit and vegetables change during the school year? Methods. During the 2004-2005 school year, the Mississippi Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs initiated a pilot program to distribute free fruit and vegetables to students (kindergarten through 12th grade) during the school day. Data were collected in 2004-2005 within a one-group pretest/ posttest design using a self-report questionnaire (n=725) and 24-hour dietary recalls (n=207) with a sample of students from five schools in Mississippi. Data were analyzed in 2006-2007. Results. Results showed greater familiarity with fruit and vegetables at all grade levels (p<0.05) and increased preferences for fruit among eighth- and 10th-grade students (p<0.01). Eighth-grade students also reported more positive attitudes toward eating fruit and vegetables (p<0.01), increased perceived self-efficacy to eat more fruit (p<0.01), and increased willingness to try new fruit. Finally, results showed increased consumption of fruit, but not vegetables, among eighth- and 10th-grade students (p<0.001). Conclusions. Distributing free fruit and vegetables at school may be a viable component of a more comprehensive approach for improving students' nutrition attitudes and behaviors. More program emphasis is needed on ways to promote vegetable consumption.
ACCESSION #
43897342

 

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