Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Science


Nutrition and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Geoffrey W. Greene


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a 10-week Policy, Systems, and Environment (PSE) nutrition education curriculum to increase fruit and vegetable (FV) intake, PSE and FV knowledge, and improvement in attitudes towards FV.

Design: Quasi -experimental design.

Participants/Setting: N=312 (intervention=142, comparison=170) 5th grade students in low-income, urban elementary schools in Pawtucket, RI selected by established working relationship between project committee members and teachers in the Pawtucket School District.

Intervention: Both groups participated in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Intervention schools received an additional 10-week PSE education curriculum. Both groups completed pre and post-surveys.

Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported dietary intake of fruits and vegetables, knowledge of PSE and FV, and attitudes towards FV.

Analyses: Independent t-tests, paired sample t-tests, analysis of variance, analysis of covariance.

Results: There were no significant differences in FV consumption from baseline to follow-up between or within groups. Controlling for differences at baseline, the intervention group had significantly higher PSE knowledge (p<.001), FV knowledge (p<.05), and attitudes towards FV (p<.05) at follow-up than the comparison group.

Conclusions and Implications: This PSE intervention had a positive impact on knowledge and attitudes, but not behavior. PSE interventions have the potential to empower students to voice their opinions about the types of food they are served at school and home.

Available for download on Sunday, April 21, 2019