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Appetite. 2018 Jun 1;125:182-189. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.01.023. Epub 2018 Feb 7.

A process and outcome evaluation of an in-class vegetable promotion program.

Author information

1
Cancer Council Western Australia, 420 Bagot Road, Subiaco WA 6180, Australia; School of Psychology, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845, Australia. Electronic address: gael.myers@curtin.edu.au.
2
Cancer Council Western Australia, 420 Bagot Road, Subiaco WA 6180, Australia.
3
Cancer Council Western Australia, 420 Bagot Road, Subiaco WA 6180, Australia; School of Psychology, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845, Australia.
4
School of Psychology, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Nutrition interventions that target both fruits and vegetables are effective in increasing fruit consumption, but have been limited in their ability to improve vegetable intake. To address the low proportion of children meeting vegetable intake guidelines, approaches specifically targeting vegetables are needed. This paper reports on a mixed-method analysis of a 10-week vegetable promotion pilot project that aimed to increase vegetable intake as part of the existing Crunch&Sip in-class fruit and vegetable break program.

DESIGN:

The intervention was designed to promote vegetable consumption through the implementation of vegetable-focused resources, including curriculum resources and parent education materials. Teachers completed pre- and end-of-intervention surveys. Process measures related to the use of resources and teachers' perceptions of barriers to implementation. The outcome evaluation included measures of children's vegetable consumption during Crunch&Sip breaks and teachers' attitudes and confidence relating to educating students about the benefits of consuming vegetables.

SUBJECTS:

Twenty-one Western Australian primary schools already participating in the Crunch&Sip program participated in the pilot intervention and evaluation. Coverage included 35 primary school teachers representing 818 students aged 4-11 years.

RESULTS:

The proportion of children bringing vegetables for Crunch&Sip more than doubled over the 10-week intervention (21% vs 46%; p < 0.001). Improvements were observed in teachers' perceived knowledge about the nutritional benefits of vegetables (p = 0.001) and confidence to educate students about the benefits of vegetable consumption (p = 0.028).

CONCLUSIONS:

Preferentially promoting vegetable consumption as part of an existing school-based nutrition program may be an effective strategy to increase children's vegetable intake.

KEYWORDS:

Children; Health promotion; Intervention; Nutrition; School; Vegetable

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