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Health Educ Behav. 2004 Feb;31(1):65-76.

A randomized school trial of environmental strategies to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption among children.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55454-1013, USA.


The Cafeteria Power Plus project examined whether a cafeteria-based intervention would increase the fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption of children. Twenty-six schools were randomly assigned to either an intervention or control condition. Baseline lunch observations of a sample (N = 1668) of first- and third-grade students occurred in the spring of 2000; follow-up was in the spring of 2002. The intervention took place during two consecutive school years beginning in the fall of 2000 and consisted of daily activities (increasing the availability, attractiveness, and encouragement for FV) and special events (kick-offs, samplings, challenge weeks, theater production, and finale meal). Training of food-service staff and cook managers was ongoing throughout the intervention phase. Students in the intervention schools significantly increased their total fruit intake. Process measures indicated that verbal encouragement by food-service staff was associated with outcomes. The outcomes suggest that multicomponent interventions are more powerful than cafeteria programs alone with this age group.

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