A randomized school trial of environmental strategies to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption among children

Cheryl L. Perry, Donald B. Bishop, Gretchen L. Taylor, Marsha Davis, Mary T Story, Clifton Gray, Susan C. Bishop, Rita A.Warren Mays, Leslie A. Lytle, Lisa J Harnack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Cafeteria Power Plus project examined whether a cafeteria-based intervention would increase the fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption of children. Twenty-six schools were randomly assigned to either an intervention or control condition. Baseline lunch observations of a sample (N = 1668) of first- and third-grade students occurred in the spring of 2000; follow-up was in the spring of 2002. The intervention took place during two consecutive school years beginning in the fall of 2000 and consisted of daily activities (increasing the availability, attractiveness, and encouragement for FV) and special events (kick-offs, samplings, challenge weeks, theater production, and finale meal). Training of food-service staff and cook managers was ongoing throughout the intervention phase. Students in the intervention schools significantly increased their total fruit intake. Process measures indicated that verbal encouragement by food-service staff was associated with outcomes. The outcomes suggest that multicomponent interventions are more powerful than cafeteria programs alone with this age group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004

Keywords

  • Cafeteria
  • Children
  • Elementary school
  • Food service
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

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