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Am J Public Health. 2010 May;100(5):925-32. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.158907. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

Impact of an organizational intervention designed to improve snack and beverage quality in YMCA after-school programs.

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  • 1Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We evaluated the quality of snacks and beverages served at YMCA after-school programs before and after the programs' participation in a YMCA Learning Collaborative.

METHODS:

We collected data on the types and brands of snacks and beverages (including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, foods with trans fats, water, and sugar-sweetened beverages) served daily during 3 different time periods spanning 14 months in total, and the components of the healthy eating standards. We compared snack and beverage quality before and after the intervention.

RESULTS:

Weekly servings of fresh fruits and vegetables (1.3 vs 3.9; P = .02) and weekly servings of fruits and vegetables as a whole (1.9 vs 5.2; P = .009) increased from baseline to postintervention; weekly servings of desserts (1.3 vs 0.5; P = .049), foods with added sugars (3.9 vs 2.4; P = .03), and foods containing trans fats (2.6 vs 0.7; P = .01) decreased. After the intervention, all YMCAs offered water daily, and none served sugar-sweetened beverages. The percentage of calories from fruits and vegetables significantly increased after the intervention, whereas the percentage of calories from foods containing trans fats and added sugars decreased.

CONCLUSIONS:

A learning collaborative can disseminate healthy eating standards among participating organizations and facilitate improvements in the quality of after-school snacks and beverages.

PMID:
19833987
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2853616
Free PMC Article
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