Gardening nutrition interventions_review
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  • Sources:, CDC
  • More examples can be found at the Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative ( and the California School Garden Network (
  • Sources from Literature Review

Gardening nutrition interventions_review Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Gardening Interventions to Improve Nutritional Adequacy for Low Income Youth in East Palo Alto Keshav Rao
  • 2. Table of Contents
    • Problem
    • Community Gardening
      • National Movement
      • Bay Area Examples
    • Key Empirical Takeaways
    • Recommendations for EHF Project
      • Overview
      • Study Design/Evaluation/Partners
      • Funding Sources
  • 3. Problem
    • 1/3 of American youth and adolescents are either overweight or obese
    • Less than 50% of youth between 4-18 consume 5 servings of fruits & veggies
    • Low income, minorities most marginalized with poor access to healthy food and bad eating habits
    2007 Childhood Obesity Rates (
  • 4. Community Gardening
    • Provides youth with hands-on experience planting, harvesting, and learning about fruits and vegetables
    • Increase in exposure to healthy food choices leads to healthier consumption decisions
    • Relatively low-cost, high impact intervention that has spread across the nation
  • 5. National Movement
    • Since 1982, the National Gardening Association has given nearly $4 million through 9586 grants, reaching 1.44 million gardeners
    • Annually, the Home Depot Garden Club gives away $1000 gift cards (5) and $500 gift cards (95) to help build school and/or community gardens
    • Jamba Juice is giving $500 grants (20) to community gardens that focus on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables among youth
  • 6. Bay Area Case Studies
    • Urban Sprouts has been building gardens in low-income San Francisco school communities since 2003, reaching over 3700 kids
    • The East Bay Asian Youth Center plans to create at least 10 garden-based nutrition education lessons in a total of 40 class sessions at Bella Vista, Franklin and Garfield elementary schools in Oakland
    • Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Foundation built a one acre organic garden and kitchen classroom at the MLK Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. The program has impacted over 3000 students and countless educators
  • 7. Key Empirical Takeaways
    • Consumption
      • Most 5-15 year olds demonstrated significantly higher fruit and vegetable consumption patterns after gardening
      • One study reported significantly higher Vitamin A, C, and Fiber for gardening vs. control group
    • Perception
      • Gardening participants were more willing to taste different types of vegetables and in some cases, reported higher preference levels post-test
    • Knowledge
      • Varying degrees of increase in nutritional knowledge (from identification of food type to understanding benefits)
    • Impact on Home Environment
      • Children asking parents for more fruits and vegetables after gardening, leading to an increase in the availability of healthy food
    Literature: 12 Peer-reviewed journal articles from 2001-2011
  • 8. Interesting/Unanswered Questions
    • What is the ideal duration/composition of program?
      • What is the marginal utility of additional weeks?
      • What is the optimal structure in terms of gardening activities/duration?
    • Impact of dual child-parent gardening + nutrition education on FV consumption and availability in home environment?
    • After-school program vs. weekend intervention?
    • Full nutrition adequacy tests (blood tests, etc) for long-term gardening-nutrition education intervention
    • Are effects of nutrition program dependent on socio-economic status or race?
  • 9. EHP Project - Overview
    • Objective
      • Design an effective gardening + nutrition education intervention for low-income East Palo Alto youth (5-15 years old)
    • Variables of Interest
      • Fruit and Vegetable consumption (weekly/monthly)
      • Nutrition Measurements (Vitamin A, C, E, Iron, Calcium, Fiber, etc)
      • BMI
      • Change in preferences of vegetables and fruits
      • Age-appropriate knowledge of nutritional requirements
      • Change in healthy food availability at home/ parent’s purchasing patterns
      • Child and parent demographics
  • 10. EHF Project – Study Design
    • Weekend gardening classes and nutrition classes held at EHF
      • Free lunch for participants
    • One group of EPA lower and middle school students with parents vs. control groups without parents
    • Pre-post survey to gauge fruit and vegetable intake, change in food preferences, knowledge gained after intervention, and change in food purchasing habits by parents
      • Dietary recall book and surveys previously used by other studies
      • Baseline at start of program, Post-experiment survey at 12 weeks, and Long term follow-up at 6 months
    • Potential partners
      • Urban Sprouts/Edible Schoolyard (curriculum)
      • Boys & Girls club/ EPA public schools (participants),
      • Stanford (volunteers/nutritionist)
      • Master Gardeners of Santa Clara (gardeners)
  • 11. Funding Sources
    • National Gardening Association
      • Home Depot Garden Club ($500-$1000)
      • Jamba Juice ($500)
    • Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative ($500 - $5000)
    • ($500)
    • Sparkseed Ventures
    • Stanford Social-E Challenge