USF

In direct response to the 2012 NCOAI we are pleased to announce a collaborative research project with The University of South Florida. The purpose of the project is to determine the impact of the School Lunch placemat on the fruit and vegetable intake of 2nd grade school age children attending the Villages, FL Charter School.

Data from this study will be submitted for presentation at conferences and for publication in academic journals. Depending upon the findings from this pilot study, potential contributions may be made to the literature regarding the effectiveness of a multicomponent nutrition educational program that includes a reinforcement/competition component such as the NCOAI Placemat. No research has been conducted on a multicomponent nutrition educational program that includes such a reinforcement/competition component on fruit and vegetable intake in children despite the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption in maintaining health and preventing many chronic diseases. The results may also be expanded for a larger and longer duration intervention program.

Background and Rationale for Study

Numerous studies have suggested that eating fruits and vegetables promotes health and prevents the development of chronic disease, yet fewer than 10% of children ages 4-13 years meet the government recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake. Furthermore, several works have shown that children’s intake of fruit and vegetable tracks into adolescence and those food preferences and eating habits established in childhood and adolescence tend to be maintained into adulthood. This makes increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among children and adolescents an important public health issue. A major challenge facing educators today is how to develop and implement interventions that both promote fruit and vegetable intake and engage children in developing and maintaining healthy food habits throughout adulthood.

 

Objectives and Research Questions
Objective 1: To determine the impact of multicomponent nutrition education program including a reinforcement/competition component (MC3 ) on the fruit and vegetable intake, self-efficacy and child-asking behavior in school age children.

 

Research Questions
1)      What effect does a multicomponent nutrition education program including a reinforcement/competition component have on fruit and vegetable intake?
2)      What effect does a multicomponent nutrition education program including a reinforcement/competition component have on self-efficacy to increase fruit and vegetable intake?
3)      What effect does a multicomponent nutrition education program including a reinforcement/competition component have on child-asking behavior for fruits and vegetables?

 

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