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Am J Health Promot. 1997 May-Jun;11(5):315-22.

Development of a school-based nutrition intervention for high school students: Gimme 5.

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  • 1Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.



To describe a 4-year intervention targeting fruit/vegetable consumption by high school students.


This is a cohort study involving six pairs of schools (n = 12) matched on gender, race, enrollment, and location with schools randomly assigned within pairs to intervention or control conditions.


Twelve Archdiocese of New Orleans high schools.


Cohort was defined as students (n = 2339) who were ninth-graders in the 1993-94 school year who provided baseline data.


Four components of the intervention are: (1) school-wide media-marketing campaign, (2) school-wide meal and snack modification, (3) classroom workshops and supplementary subject matter activities, and (4) parental involvement.


Focus groups were conducted for target population input and program development. Process evaluation included student feedback on media-marketing intervention materials and activities reported here. Process measures also included school meal participation, student characteristics, and verification of intervention activities.


Focus groups identified barriers to increased consumption of fruit and vegetables as lack of availability, variety, and inconsistency in taste. Student attitudes were favorable regarding a school program to improve diet and parental involvement. Low consumption of fruits/vegetables was reported. After a 2-month school-wide program introduction utilizing various media-marketing materials and activities, 93% of students were aware of the program and 96% could identify the healthy eating message.


Program development can be guided and enriched by student input via focus groups. Media-marketing activities effectively delivered health messages and attracted students' attention. Materials and activities used were acceptable channels for increasing awareness, positive attitudes, and knowledge about fruits/vegetables.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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