Research Research and Professional Brief| Volume 107, ISSUE 4, P662-665, April 2007

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Garden-Based Nutrition Education Affects Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Sixth-Grade Adolescents


      Schoolyard gardens are emerging as a nutrition education tool in academic settings. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of garden-based nutrition education on adolescents’ fruit and vegetable consumption using a nonequivalent control group design. Sixth-grade students (n=99) at three different elementary schools made up a control and two treatment groups. Students in the treatment groups participated in a 12-week nutrition education program, and one treatment group also participated in garden-based activities. Students in all three groups completed three 24-hour food-recall workbooks before and after the intervention. A repeated-measures analysis of variance showed that adolescents who participated in the garden-based nutrition intervention increased their servings of fruits and vegetables more than students in the two other groups. Significant increases were also found in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber intake. Although further research is needed, the results of this study seem to indicate the efficacy of using garden-based nutrition education to increase adolescents’ consumption of fruits and vegetables.
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      J. D. McAleese is patient advocate, Portneuf Medical Center, Pocatello, ID; at the time of the study, she was a graduate student in the Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello.


      L. L. Rankin is an associate professor, Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello.