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Health Educ Res. 2011 Aug;26(4):722-31. doi: 10.1093/her/cyr033. Epub 2011 May 13.

Vegetable and fruit breaks in Australian primary schools: prevalence, attitudes, barriers and implementation strategies.

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1
Hunter New England Population Health, Hunter New England Area Health Service, Newcastle 2287, Australia. nicole.nathan@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au

Abstract

School-based vegetable and fruit programs can increase student consumption of vegetables and fruit and have been recommended for adoption by Australian schools since 2005. An understanding of the prevalence and predictors of and the barriers to the adoption of school-based vegetable and fruit programs is necessary to maximize their adoption by schools and ensure that the health benefits of such programs to children are realized. The aim of this study was to determine Australian primary school Principals' attitudes and barriers to the implementation of vegetable and fruit breaks; the prevalence of vegetable and fruit breaks in schools and the implementation strategies used and associated with their recommended adoption (daily in at least 80% of classes). A random sample of 384 school Principals completed a 20-min telephone interview. While Principals were highly supportive of vegetable and fruit breaks, only 44% were implementing these to a recommended level. When controlling for all school characteristics, recommended vegetable and fruit break adoption was 1.9 and 2.2 times greater, respectively, in schools that had parent communication strategies and teachers trained. A substantial opportunity exists to enhance the health of children through the adoption of vegetable and fruit breaks in schools.

PMID:
21571836
DOI:
10.1093/her/cyr033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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