Changes in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption of Third Grade Students in Body Quest: Food of the Warrior, a 17-class Childhood Obesity Prevention Program
Type of Degreethesis
Nutrition and Food Science
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Objective: To increase fruit and vegetable (F/V) consumption, third grade students participated in Body Quest (BQ), a 17-class childhood obesity prevention program. Methods: Students (n = 2,477) were randomly assigned to treatment (n = 1,674) and control (n = 803) groups; half were female and half were Black. Two weeks each of What’s for Lunch (W4L) pre- and post-assessments were given to treatment and control groups. F/V tastings were given to only treatment group students during pre- and post-assessments. Between pre- and post-assessments, treatment group students received 17 classes using iPad apps/pencil-and-paper activities and weekly F/V tastings. After lunch, students reported foods consumed on a W4L form. W4L assessed changes in F/V consumption throughout the program. Growth modeling examined patterns of change in F/V consumption. Results: There were significant increases in fruit (p<.01) and vegetable (p<.001) consumptions at post for treatment group students compared to control group students. When analyzing only treatment group students, significant increases in fruit (p<.001) and vegetable (p<.001) consumption from pre to post were found. Both F/V consumptions increased up to class 10, and then stabilized. Race was found as a predictor of F/V consumption. Black students in the treatment group reported higher F/V servings compared to non-Black students. Conclusions: F/V intakes of youth can be increased through childhood obesity prevention programs. Long-term programs lasting at least 10 classes are desirable to allow students to adopt new F/V habits.