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A School-Based Fruit and Vegetable Snacking Pilot Intervention for Lower Mississippi Delta Children

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Background: In this pilot study, we examined school-aged children's familiarity and willingness to try fruits and vegetables (FV) and the impact of a 6-week school-based snack feeding intervention on familiarity and consumption of FV. Methods: In all, 190 fourth- to sixth-grade students from a rural Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) school participated. Measures included surveys assessing familiarity and willingness to try FV and direct observation of FV snack consumption. Results: At baseline, the majority of students provided correct name recognition for 6 of 11 snacks offered, whereas name recognition increased significantly for the other 5 FV post intervention. Similarly, previous eating experience increased for 7 of the 11 FV offered. On average, a higher percentage of the fruit (54% to 98%) and vegetable (49% to 50%) snacks offered were consumed by the students. Willingness to try and grade level were the strongest predictors of fruit and vegetable snack consumption. Conclusions: These results suggest that an FV snack feeding intervention can increase the familiarity, and thereby potentially, the amount of FV consumed by LMD school children. Further research is warranted to determine if the positive effects of such programs extend to beyond the school environment and into the home.
Lisa Tussing-Humphreys , Jessica Thomson , Beverly McCabe-Sellers , Earline Strickland , Dalia Lovera , Margaret Bogle
USDA Scientist Submission
Childhood obesity and nutrition 2012 11 v.4 no.6
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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