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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2019 Nov - Dec;51(10):1202-1210.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2019.08.002. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

Impact of a Pilot School-Based Nutrition Intervention on Fruit and Vegetable Waste at School Lunches.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Environmental Health, and Genetics, Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX. Electronic address: Shreela.V.Sharma@uth.tmc.edu.
2
Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health in Austin, Austin, TX.
3
Department of Health Promotion Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX.
4
Houston Independent School District Food Service Support Facility, Houston, TX.
5
Brighter Bites, Dallas, TX.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the preliminary impact of the Brighter Bites nutrition intervention on decreasing fruit and vegetable (F&V) waste at school lunches among fourth- and fifth-grade children.

METHOD:

This was a nonrandomized pre-post-controlled study in Houston and Dallas, TX. Two schools received the Brighter Bites intervention (n = 76), and 1 comparison school (n = 39), during the 2017-2018 school year. Brighter Bites is a 16-week school-based nutrition intervention providing weekly distribution of fresh F&V plus nutrition education. Main outcome measures were direct observation and weights to measure the number of F&V dishes selected at school lunches, amount of F&V wasted (gm), and related nutrient waste (4 time points/child). Mixed-effects linear regression analysis was used to determine change in F&V selection and waste over time.

RESULTS:

There was a significant decrease over time in proportion of F&V selected among those in the comparison school, but not the intervention schools (P < .001). Compared with children in the comparison group, those receiving Brighter Bites showed a significant decrease in the amount of F&V wasted at each meal (P < .001) and per item (P < .05) at the end of both 8 and 16 weeks of intervention. There were significant decreases in waste of energy (kcal); dietary fiber (gm); vitamins B1, B3, and B6 (mg); total folate (µg); and B12 (µg) among those receiving Brighter Bites (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Although absolute food or nutrient changes were small even when significant, programs such as Brighter Bites may contribute to a healthy intake. Future studies are warranted that include a larger sample size with a stringent, cluster-randomized control trial design and consideration for other covariates.

KEYWORDS:

child dietary intake; fruit and vegetable consumption; nutrient waste; plate waste; school lunch

PMID:
31522894
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2019.08.002

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