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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY Title: A fresh fruit and vegetable program improves high school students' consumption of fresh produce

Authors
item Davis, Elaine -
item Cullen, Karen -
item Watson, Kathleen -
item Konarik, Melanie -
item Radcliffe, John -

Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2009
Publication Date: July 1, 2009
Citation: Davis, E.M., Cullen, K.W., Watson, K.B., Konarik, M., Radcliffe, J. 2009. A fresh fruit and vegetable program improves high school students' consumption of fresh produce. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 109(7):1227-1231.

Interpretive Summary: Low fruit and vegetable intake may be associated with overweight. The United States Department of Agriculture gave schools money to give free fruit and vegetables in schools in 2006-2007. One Houston-area high school was selected and received funding to provide baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables daily for each classroom during this period. This study evaluated whether the free FV snacks improved student fruit and vegetable intake. At program end (May, 2007), anonymous fruit and vegetable intake surveys were given to students in the free FV program school as well as another high school that did not receive the program. The students were classified as to whether they met the recommended daily intake of fruit, 100% fruit juice, and vegetables. Students in the school receiving the free FV snacks were more likely to report eating fruit and drinking 100% fruit juice at least two times per day and total fruit, juice, and vegetables five or more times per day in the last seven days than students in the school without the free FV snacks. There were no differences in vegetable intake. Free fruit and vegetable distribution programs provide the opportunity for students to taste a variety of fruit and vegetables, and may improve consumption of these foods in adolescents.

Technical Abstract: Low fruit and vegetable intake may be associated with overweight. The United States Department of Agriculture implemented the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in 2006-2007. One Houston-area high school was selected and received funding to provide baskets of fresh fruits and vegetables daily for each classroom during this period. This study assessed the impact of the program on students' fruit and vegetable intake. At program end (May 2007), fruit and vegetable intake surveys were distributed to students at the intervention school as well as at a comparison high school that did not receive the program. Surveys, which were completed anonymously, were received from 34% of intervention and 42% of comparison school students. The students were classified as to whether they met the recommended daily intake of fruit, 100% fruit juice, and vegetables. The probability of meeting the recommendations was assessed with logistic regression analyses, controlling for sex, age, and ethnicity. Compared with the comparison control school students, intervention school students were more likely to report eating fruit and drinking 100% fruit juice at least two times per day (39.3% vs 27.3%; P<0.05) and consuming total fruit, juice, and vegetables (22% vs 18.4%; P<0.05) five or more times per day in the preceding 7 days. More intervention school students (59.1%) than comparison school students (40.9%) reported eating fruit at least one time per day (P<0.05). There were no group differences in vegetable intake. Fresh fruit and vegetable distribution programs provide the opportunity for students to taste a variety of fruits and vegetables, and may improve consumption of these foods by adolescents.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014
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