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A Theory-informed Nutrition Education Intervention Promotes Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Related Behavior Factors Among Elementary School Children (P16-045-19)

Saha, Sanjoy, Oldewage-Theron, Wilna
Current developments in nutrition 2019 v.3 no.Supplement_1
children, cognition, cooking, curriculum, elementary schools, elementary students, fruits, gender, lunch, nationalities and ethnic groups, nutrition education, nutrition knowledge, nutritional behavior, nutritional status, parents, questionnaires, self-efficacy, surveys, vegetable consumption, vegetables, Texas
To assess the effectiveness of a behavior-specific nutrition education intervention (NEI) to promote dietary behavior factors related to fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption. A pre-post design was used. The developed and implemented six-week NEI curriculum was informed by the social cognitive theory and comprised of class-based nutrition education (25 minutes once a week), and cooking demonstrations (20 minutes once a week) for children, and weekly nutrition handout for parents. Applying purposive sampling, 115 children (in grade 3rd -5th) were recruited from four elementary schools (where at least 40% of children were eligible to obtain free lunch) in the South Plains of Texas. Assessments included nutrition knowledge, F&V preference, F&V consumption and cooking self-efficacy questionnaires during pre- and post-intervention surveys. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used with level of significance at <0.05. Preliminary results show that the study variables (gender, grade, nutritional status, nutrition knowledge, F&V preference, self-efficacy of F&V consumption, and cooking) did not differ significantly during the pre-intervention survey, except for ethnicity (P < 0.001) among the participated elementary schools. Nutrition knowledge score (change mean score 7.61 ± 3.70), F&V preference (change mean score 5.63 ± 10.84), F&V consumption self-efficacy (change mean score 2.16 ± 3.05), and cooking self-efficacy (change mean score 5.34 ± 7.08) improved significantly (P < 0.05) after the intervention. There was no significant school variation in the changes of study parameters after the intervention. Theory-informed and behavior-specific NEI may improve the children's knowledge and F&V preference and dietary behavior related to F&V consumption and cooking self-efficacy. Future research is needed to evaluate the retention of the nutrition knowledge and F&V consumption related behavior factors. Texas Tech University.