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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Davis, Marsha
item Baranowski, Thomas
item Hughes, Marilyn
item Warneke, Carla
item De Moor, Carl
item Mullis, Rebecca

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2001
Publication Date: 1/1/2002
Citation: Davis, M., Baranowski, T., Hughes, M., Warneke, C.L., De Moor, C., Mullis, R.M. 2002. Using Children as Change Agents to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Lower-income African American Parents. In: Steckler, A., Linnan, L., editors. Process Evaluation for Public Health Interventions and Research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. p. 249-267.

Interpretive Summary: Not required for a book chapter.

Technical Abstract: Increasing fruit, 100 percent juice, and vegetable intake (FJV) to five to nine servings per day is a national priority. Dietary factors, particularly insufficient consumption of FJV, have been associated with major types of cancer, several chronic diseases, and obesity (Block, Patterson, and Subar, 1992; Subar and others, 1994; Patterson and others, 1995; Steinmetz and Potter; 1996; McCrory and others, 1999; McCrory, Fuss, Saltzman, and Roberts, 2000; Li and others, 2000; Joshipura and others, 1999; Beilin, 1999; Gortmaker and others, 1999; Epstein and others, 2001). Lower-income African Americans consume less FJV than other Americans and are at greater risk of obesity and chronic disease (Patterson, Krebs-Smith, Pivonka, and Kessler, 1995; Li and others, 2000; Serdula and others, 1995; Dennison, Rockwell, and Baker, 1998). Yet few programs have been developed to increase FJV consumption in this high-risk, underserved population. Traditionally, schools have been used as a channel to promote behavior change among children. Because adult family members control children's access to food in the home and can influence consumption, many school nutrition education programs have targeted the family for promoting dietary change among children (Resnicow and Robinson, 1997). These school-based efforts have been shown to affect dietary behaviors among elementary school children, but the extent to which children may in turn affect the dietary habits of their family has not been determined. Using the child as a "health messenger" has been shown to be effective in a variety of health promotion efforts, including those concerned with hypertension and heart disease (Fors and others, 1989). Using children as change agents in a dietary program delivered through schools may be an effective strategy for promoting dietary change in their parents. The children can motivate their parents to make dietary changes through skills learned at school, and parents and children can work together to adapt the information to their own family life.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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