Year of Publication

2021

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Dr. of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Richard Ingram

Committee Member

Dr. Kathryn Cardarelli

Committee Member

Dr. James Holsinger

Abstract

School-based approaches utilizing policy, systems, and environmental strategies are needed to address the complex factors driving childhood obesity. The purpose of this pilot study is to implement Smarter Lunchroom strategies in three participating Kentucky middle schools in 2019 and then assess two outcomes: (1) determine the impact of the intervention on fruit and vegetable purchases and waste, and (2) determine how purchases or waste varied by interventions selected for each setting. After the 6-week intervention, combined we found no statistical significant increases in fruit and vegetable purchasing from pre to post-intervention. No statistical significant decreases in fruit and vegetable plate waste from pre to post-intervention were found. When stratified by individual school, School 3 was the only participating school that showed a statistical significant change (p = 0.023) from pre to post-intervention for fruit and vegetable plate waste. A major limitation is the small sample size. Overall, substantial change was observed. Stratified descriptive statistics showed School 2 decreasing plate waste by 26.83% from pre to post-intervention. Implications for future Smarter Lunchroom public health interventions are presented.

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