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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Development and evaluation of WillTry. An instrument for measuring childrens' willingness to try fruits and vegetables.)

item Thomson, Jessica
item Mccabe Sellers, Beverly
item Strickland, Earline
item Lovera, Dalia
item Nuss, Henry
item Bogle, Margaret
item Yadrick, Kathleen
item Duke, Sara

Submitted to: Appetite
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2010
Publication Date: 6/17/2010
Citation: Thomson, J.L., Mccabe Sellers, B.J., Strickland, E., Lovera, D., Nuss, H.J., Bogle, M.L., Yadrick, K., Duke, S.E. 2010. Development and evaluation of WillTry. An instrument for measuring childrens' willingness to try fruits and vegetables. Appetite. 54:465-472.

Interpretive Summary: Childhood obesity is growing at an alarming rate both in the U.S. and worldwide. One method to fighting obesity is to encourage children to eat the USDA recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. This change to a healthier diet can be accomplished in children simply by introducing them to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. The WillTry questionnaire was developed to measure willingness to try fruits and vegetables in families, specifically, children. Results of this study indicate that the WillTry questionnaire is a reliable and consistent tool to use when measuring willingness to try fruits and vegetables in children 5 to 13 years of age. This questionnaire can be used to identify techniques that will improve children's willingness to try fruits and vegetables, ultimately, leading to the prevention of obestiy.

Technical Abstract: Childhood obesity is a growing worldwide epidemic requiring the development and implementation of effective interventions to reverse the increasing prevalence trend. A recommended strategy to combat overweight is to encourage intake of USDA recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables can be difficult in children, especially among those with factors or barriers associated with low intakes. Exposing children to a wide variety of foods can condition their food preferences and change their food behaviors, thus, leading to healthier diets. The WillTry instrument was designed to measure willingness to try fruit and vegetable behaviors in families. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate psychometric properties of the WillTry instrument by determining test-retest reliability, and internal consistency of the questionnaire in a Southern U.S., predominantly rural and African-American child population. Test and retest WillTry surveys were interviewer-administered to a group of elementary school children (N = 66) attending a summer day camp in Hollandale, Mississippi. Test-retest reliability was assessed using weighted Kappa coefficients (individual categorical items) and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs, three demographic items and scales). Internal consistency of the scales was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha coefficients. Analyses were conducted overall and separately for two age groups (5-8 and 9-13 years). The majority (18 of 26) of individual items had fair to moderate reliability (Kappa coefficients between 0.21 and 0.60), while the majority (4 of 6) of the scales had moderate reliability (ICCs between 0.41 and 0.60). Some differences between age groups were found in both individual items and scales. Only two of six scales consistently exhibited sufficient internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.70). The results of this study provide psychometric evidence for the use of the WillTry instrument as a measure of willingness to try fruit and vegetable behaviors in children 5 to 13 years of age.

Last Modified: 05/24/2017
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