Title page for ETD etd-03282007-205843

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Silverman, Linda
Author's Email Address lsilver@lsu.edu
URN etd-03282007-205843
Title Evaluating the Effects of a Multi-Component School-Based Nutrition Intervention Program in Elementary School Students
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Georgianna Tuuri Committee Chair
Melinda Solmon Committee Member
Michael Keenan Committee Member
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • smart bodies
  • social cognitive theory
Date of Defense 2007-02-12
Availability unrestricted
The objective of the study was to evaluate a multi-component school-based nutrition intervention program, Smart Bodies, to see if the curriculum increased nutrition knowledge, increased self-reported intakes of fruits and vegetables, and improved opinions, outcome expectations, social norms, and self-efficacy related to fruit and vegetables among elementary school students. The Smart Bodies curriculum was conducted in the classrooms of eighteen public schools in south Louisiana over a twelve-week period and included nutrition related games, videos, books and classroom activity tracking charts. Six hundred forty-one 4th and 5th grade students were included in the sample. A survey based on the Social Cognitive Theory was administered to evaluate nutrition knowledge, fruit and vegetable intake, opinions, self-efficacy, social norms and outcome expectations related to fruit and vegetable consumption both before and after the intervention. A factor analysis was run on each section to determine the number and nature of underlying factors affecting the relationship between each section of variables. Least square means tests using a mixed-model ANOVA were conducted on the knowledge section and on each factor.

The study results showed an increase in self-reported intakes of fruit and fruit juice (p=0.01) and a tendency towards an increase in nutrition knowledge in children who participated in the curriculum (p=0.07). The study also found that the students who completed the program had a better self-efficacy related to F&V (p=0.01) and a tendency for more positive opinions (p=0.07) about F&V consumption than those students who did not participate in the intervention. The results suggest that a multi-component, school-based nutrition intervention program may increase fruit and vegetable intakes and improve self-efficacy to consume fruits and vegetables.

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