Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Dawn Brewer

Abstract

Concern that youth do not have enough fruit and vegetable intake lead to two strategies implemented to influence intake in the school environment: the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) and Fighting with Food: Battling Chemical Toxicity with Good Nutrition program (FF), which could influence phytochemical content and knowledge regarding phytochemicals, respectively. Individual food logs (n=468) were assessed upon completion of FF curriculum to determine whether students were able to correctly apply their nutrition knowledge regarding FF. Menus from one district were analyzed pre-HHFKA and post-HHFKA in elementary (n=156), middle (n=171), and high schools (n=171), for change in the frequency of fruit and vegetables, and for changes in select phytochemical and vitamin content. In food logs, students correctly identified fighting foods 71% of the time. School menus showed an increase in dark green, red/orange vegetables, with significant increases in carotenoid and flavonol content. Results suggest students are applying their nutrition knowledge. Also, more variety of fruit and vegetables are being offered, despite lack of a robust increase in all phytochemicals, which can help to lower inflammation and oxidative stress. Both strategies have the potential to work together as a multi-level intervention that can encourage more fruit and vegetable consumption among youth.

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