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Journal cover: Health Education

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Online from: 1992

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among British primary schoolchildren: a review

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Title:Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among British primary schoolchildren: a review
Author(s):Helen Burchett, (Helen Burchett is the Public Health Policy Officer at The Maternity Alliance, London.)
Citation:Helen Burchett, (2003) "Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among British primary schoolchildren: a review", Health Education, Vol. 103 Iss: 2, pp.99 - 109
Keywords:Children, Fruit, Nutrition, School, United Kingdom, Vegetables
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/09654280310467726 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:This paper aimed to identify the key elements that should be included in a fruit and vegetable-promoting programme in British primary schools. Such a programme could be used in healthy schools schemes or “five-a-day” programmes. Five US school intervention studies were analysed to identify their most effective elements. Four of the five studies found that their intervention had a significant effect on fruit and vegetable consumption. All the studies were behaviourally focussed and used interactive teaching methods and were based on social cognitive theory. Targeting fruit and vegetable consumption appeared to be more effective than broader lifestyle/healthy eating interventions. All studies, except one, increased the availability of fruit and vegetables at school lunches but none increased their availability at snack times and breakfast. Three studies taught preparation skills. All included taste testing activities which aim to increase familiarity and so increase taste preferences. Four used role models to promote fruit and vegetables and two gave rewards for consumption. One study attempted to improve the sensory properties of fruit and vegetables at lunch through preparation techniques. Two studies included a community involvement component and four involved families in the intervention. Results from two of the studies showed that interventions must be maintained over time if effects are to be maintained. Greater effects were seen for fruit consumption than vegetable consumption except for one study which focussed specifically on vegetables.

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