Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
College of Education and Human Services
Nutrition and Food Studies
Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair
Fruit and vegetable intake within the United States is considerably lower than the standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture. With this information, there is no surprise that these rates are especially low for school aged children. Although many studies have tried to incorporate programs that would effectively increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables among youngsters, many have fallen short with being able to sustain consumption over time. This study provided a way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption during lunchtime for second grade students by using a dual module of the Social Cognitive Theory and active choice principles.
A total of 90 participants (ages 7 and 8) were used in this study; 47 made up the experimental group while 43 made up the control group. During this nine-week study, the experimental group received four lessons based on nutrition education while the control group did not receive any nutrition education lessons. Both groups received an active choice component where they were able to choose between two fruits and two vegetables. A hypothesis was made that the role of nutrition education would increase consumption of fruits and vegetables compared to the group that did not receive any lessons. Intervention days were divided into two sessions to determine effectiveness of the program.
Although some results revealed significant relationships, the hypothesis had limited validity. Future research is still needed to ensure the effectiveness of this design. It is important to recognize that although the nutritional lessons did not cause the experimental group to consume more fruits and vegetables than the control group, both groups actively participated in intervention days and increased their overall fruit and vegetable consumption.
Cafiero, Robyn M., "The Role of Nutrition Education and Active Choice to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Second Grade Students During Lunchtime" (2016). Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects. 367.