Preliminary findings from an evaluation of the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in Wisconsin schools.

Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004, USA.
WMJ: official publication of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin 08/2008; 107(5):225-30.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In 2002, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) created the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) to improve nutrition and help reduce the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity. The FFVP provides funding for students from selected schools in each participating state to receive a free fresh fruit or vegetable snack daily for an academic year. In November 2005, Wisconsin was added to this program. In this study, we evaluate whether the Wisconsin FFVP resulted in positive changes in children's attitudes and behavior related to eating fruits and vegetables.
In 2006, 25 Wisconsin schools were selected by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for FFVP participation. Study measures included a pre-test and post-test survey given to 4th, 7th, and 9th graders in the intervention and controls schools. Post-test data from all 25 intervention schools were not yet available for analysis. Our sample, therefore, consisted of 1127 participants: 784 students in 10 intervention schools and 343 students in 10 control schools. Independent samples t tests and multivariate probit regression analyses were used to examine attitudinal and behavioral program effects.
Compared to controls, intervention students reported an increased willingness to try new fruits (24.8% versus 12.8%, P<0.01) and vegetables (25.1% versus 18.4%, P=0.01) at school.
Findings indicate positive changes in attitudes and behavior among children participating in the Wisconsin FFVP.

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