Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Science

Department

Nutrition and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Geoffrey Greene

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of nutrition education on fruit and vegetable consumption when provided as an addition to the Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). The secondary purpose was to compare fruit and vegetable consumption between students who received the FFVP and students who did not receive the FFVP.

Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study which involved three schools; one received both the FFVP and a nutrition education program, one received the FFVP only, and one received neither the FFVP nor nutrition education. Students in the intervention group received eight nutrition lessons. Students in each participating school completed a pre and post survey separated by eight weeks. The survey assessed daily fruit and vegetable consumption.

Results: A total of 230 students completed pre and post surveys, intervention group (n=87) and the two control groups FFVP (n=73) no-treatment (n= 70). There was a significant effect of group on change in fruit consumption (F=8.4, p<0.001) and vegetable consumption (F=4.6, p=0.01) in repeated measures analysis of variance with the intervention group differing from the two control groups (p<.05) for both fruit and vegetables. In addition, the intervention group increased fruit by 0.89 ± 1.75 pieces/day (p<0.001) and vegetables by 0.81±1.8 times/day (p<0.001) in within group analyses (paired t-tests). There was no change from pre to post for either fruit or vegetable in either control school. There was no effect of FFVP on fruit or vegetable consumption at baseline.

Applications: This study found that nutrition education in addition to participation in the FFVP increased fruit and vegetable consumption more than participation in the FFVP alone. Considering the majority of children are not meeting fruit or vegetable intake recommendations, and increased fruit and vegetable consumption can reduce childhood obesity, students would benefit from receiving nutrition education in addition to the FFVP.

Available for download on Friday, December 08, 2017

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