The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of the Cancer Society of Lower Saxony’s school-based nutrition education programme “5-a-day for kids”, designed to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption. Intervention: the programme included three parts (each 45 minutes): education-based classroom session; food knowledge in a local supermarket; and practical vegetable snack preparation. Additional promoting information materials for parents were provided.
A pre-/post-test research design was used for the evaluation. In total, 1,376 pupils (age 7-14, 51 per cent female), their parents and 69 teachers of 35 schools in Lower Saxony participated in the study. The fruit and vegetable intake was measured with the KiGGS-Food Frequency Questionnaire.
A Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to determine the change in fruit and vegetable consumption over three measurements (baseline, one month, three months). No significant positive effect of the intervention was observed with the applied method for the daily intake of fruit and vegetables, neither at month 1 nor at month 3.
A 135 min school-based intervention does not seem to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption. To enhance its effectiveness, the programme may be improved by adding a longitudinal classroom component, extensive parental involvement and/or distribution of free fruit/vegetables every day.
This is the first evaluation of a 5-a-day-intervention in Germany.
The authors thank the children, parents and teachers who were involved in this study for their support. Furthermore, the authors thank Dr G.M. Mensink and his team of the Robert Koch-Institut in Berlin for letting us use the KiGGS-Food Frequency Questionnaire.
Mittmann, S., Austel, A. and Ellrott, T. (2016), "Behavioural effects of a short school-based fruit and vegetable promotion programme: 5-a-Day for kids", Health Education, Vol. 116 No. 3, pp. 222-237. https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-04-2014-0062Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited