Fruit and Vegetable Intakes among Elementary Schools' Pupils: Using Five-A-Day Educational Program

S Bashirian, H Allahverdipour, B Moeini

Abstract


Background: Low fruit and vegetable intake is a major risk factor for cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke. The recommended intake of five portions per day would reduce death rates from these causes by 20%. In order to have reach fruit and vegetables in daily diet among students, this study examines a brief preventive intervention as for embedding schools action and students role for keeping and promoting fruit and vegetables consumption.

Methods: To promote increased fruit and vegetable consumption, this quasi-experimental study, was conducted among forth and fifth grade students (228 students: Intervention and control groups) in Hamadan, Iran from October 2007 to February 2008. The intervention consisted of behavioral curriculum in classrooms, serving fruit in the school, and parental support plus involvement. 24-hour and 1-week food recalls measured food consumption.

Results: Compared with controls, the intervention group significantly increased their knowledge of the 5-a-day optimum (P< 0.001) and also it was found visible improvement for consumption of fruit and vegetables but it was not significant based on adjusted by the Holmes- Bonfereroni procedure.

Conclusion: School-based interventions can produce important changes in knowledge of and access to fruit and vegetables among students. However, educational programs need to advocacy for providing fruit and vegetables in each community.


Keywords


Fruit, Vegetable, Nutrition, Healthy Diet, Iran

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