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The Kids' Calcium Project : an in-school educational intervention

Garden-Robinson, Julie, Gold, Abby, Lipetzky, Kim
The Journal of child nutrition & management 2005 v.29 no.2
adolescent nutrition, adolescents, beverages, boys, calcium, child nutrition, consumer behavior, curriculum, eating habits, educational materials, food and nutrition programs, middle school students, milk, milk consumption, nutrient intake, nutrition education, nutrition knowledge, nutritional intervention, nutritionists, sales, surveys
Objectives The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of the Kids' Calcium Project, a milk promotion campaign targeting middle school children. Methods The Kids' Calcium Project is an in-school educational intervention program to increase calcium consumption among teenagers. The program develops promotional materials, provides education objectives, and stimulates environmental changes. Pre- and post-intervention surveys that tested calcium knowledge and beverage consumption behavior were given to assess the overall effectiveness of the program for eighth- and ninth-grade students. Sales of milk consumption were tracked before, during, and after the intervention period. Results The program resulted in an increase in students' knowledge of calcium. This new knowledge had a two-fold effect: as the amount of calcium intake increased, the sweetened beverage consumption rate decreased, especially among boys. As a result, an increase in milk sales occurred during school hours. Six weeks after environmental changes were discontinued, however, milk sales returned to previous levels. Application to Child Nutrition Professionals This study provides evidence that changing the student environment and adding specific nutrition content to curricula can impact positively students' knowledge of calcium and consumer behavior.