Exposure to a comprehensive school intervention increases vegetable consumption.
Sommaire de l'article
PURPOSE: The current epidemic of childhood overweight has launched a variety of school-based efforts to address the issue. This study reports on the first 2 years of a 3-year evaluation of one school district’s comprehensive intervention to transform school foodservices and dining experiences, offer cooking and gardening programs, and integrate nutrition and food systems concepts into the academic curriculum. METHODS: This 3-year prospective study enrolled 327 4th and 5th graders in a mid-sized school district in California, and followed them into middle school. Intervention exposure was determined through interviews with school staff and student surveys. Student knowledge and attitudes were assessed annually by questionnaire, and student behavior was assessed annually by 3-day food diary. Household information was gathered by parent questionnaire. Changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior were compared by level of intervention exposure using analysis of covariance; pairwise differences were evaluated using Bonferroni’s test at a procedure-wise error rate of 5%. RESULTS: After controlling for family sociodemographic background, students most exposed to the intervention increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables by nearly 0.5 cups (one standard serving), whereas students least exposed decreased their consumption by 0.3 cups (p < .05). Students most exposed to the programming also showed a significantly greater increase in preference for fruit and green leafy vegetables, compared to students least exposed to the programming (p < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Future research is needed to better understand the relative importance of the different components of such a program, and their cost-benefits as well as health impacts. Copyright (c) 2010 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.