Impact evaluation of the northern fruit and vegetable pilot programme – a cluster-randomised controlled trial.
Sommaire de l'article
The purpose of this impact evaluation was to measure the influence of a government of Ontario, Canada health promotion initiative, the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Programme (NFVPP), on elementary school-aged children's psychosocial variables regarding fruit and vegetables, and fruit and vegetable consumption patterns.
A cluster-randomised controlled trial design was used. The NFVPP consisted of three intervention arms: (i) Intervention I: Free Fruit and Vegetable Snack (FFVS) + Enhanced Nutrition Education; (ii) Intervention II: FFVS-alone; and (iii) Control group. Using the Pro-Children Questionnaire, the primary outcome measure was children's fruit and vegetable consumption, and the secondary outcome measures included differences in children's awareness, knowledge, self-efficacy, preference, intention and willingness to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
Twenty-six elementary schools in a defined area of Northern Ontario were eligible to participate in the impact evaluation. A final sample size of 1,277 students in grades five to eight was achieved.
Intervention I students consumed more fruit and vegetables at school than their Control counterparts by 0.49 serving/d (P < 0.05). Similarly, Intervention II students consumed more fruit and vegetables at school than Control students by 0.42 serving/d, although this difference was not statistically significant. Among students in both intervention groups, preferences for certain fruit and vegetables shifted from 'never tried it' towards 'like it'.
The NFVPP resulted in positive changes in elementary school-aged children's fruit and vegetable consumption at school, and favourable preference changes for certain fruit and vegetables.