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Effects of garden enhanced nutrition lessons on nutrition


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Presentation of my research proposal for graduate class on research methods. For this project, I had to complete a review of literature and design a fake research study. I selected to study the impact …

Presentation of my research proposal for graduate class on research methods. For this project, I had to complete a review of literature and design a fake research study. I selected to study the impact of school gardens on the fruit and vegetable consumption of adolescents.

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  • The following slides discuss research regarding school and youth gardens and how such programs can improve the nutritional health of children. Additionally, I will propose a research study focusing on the impact of a school garden with nutritional lessons on the vegetable preference of fourth grade students. This presentation is part of a research proposal project that I completed during a Research Methods course. The proposed study is fake and is for educational purposes only.
  • In the United States, almost one third of children are either overweight or obese. Out of this third, seventeen percent are obese. Obesity can have an immediate effect on children such as increased blood pressure or high levels of lipids in the blood. Another problem that can arise from being obese in childhood is that obese children tend to become obese adults. Obesity has been linked as a risk factor for several chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, as well as certain cancers. Fruit and vegetables are full of nutrients and can help maintain a healthy weight and decrease the risk of stroke, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. In order to decrease these risks, it is recommended that individuals consume at least five fruits and vegetables daily. In the United States, 36% of adolescents consume less than one fruit per day and 37.7% consume less than one vegetable per day.
  • Many different strategies are being implemented and studied in hopes of reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity. This presentation will discuss school agricultural programs, youth group gardens, school gardens, and preschool gardens. The Davis Joint Unified School District in California implemented a school agricultural program that included a farm-to-school salad bar, a school garden, classroom nutrition lessons, a composting program, and local farm tours. L.A. Sprouts and a YMCA youth summer camp also tried to increase the health of children by teaching nutrition classes, cooking, taste-testing healthy foods, and gardening. Since children spend most of their time in school, some schools and preschools have combined school gardens with nutritional lessons to facilitate learning and healthy habits.
  • The agricultural program at the Davis Joint Unified School District found an increase in National School Lunch Program participation after offering a salad bar furnished with produce from local farms. Nutrition lessons have increased knowledge about food and healthy eating habits in elementary children in various studies. Additionally, vegetable and fruit preference and consumption increased for students who received nutritional lessons with garden based activities. Children’s attitudes regarding vegetables also improved.
  • The results of programs encouraging an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption in children is important because consumption of these foods is inadequate in the United States. In Kentucky, adolescents consume 1 fruit or vegetable daily. This means that they are missing 4 fruits and vegetables every day or 28 fruits and vegetables every week. Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is an important step in addressing the challenge of childhood obesity.
  • For my research proposal, I chose to observe the effects of garden enhanced nutrition lessons on the nutrition knowledge and vegetable consumption of fourth-grade students at Eastern Kentucky University’s Model Laboratory School. It was believed that nutritional knowledge and vegetable preference of participants would increase as a result of the study.
  • This study operated on three assumptions. First, that the teacher was capable of facilitating learning. Second, that students gave honest answers when completing the vegetable preference survey. Lastly, that thenutrition knowledge questionnaire and vegetable preference survey were valid and reliable instruments for measuring nutrition knowledge and vegetable consumption.
  • This study also consisted of a few limitations. The main limitation of this study was the sample size. The participants were not selectedrandomly but rather for convenience. Additionally, only sixty participants were included in the study which could have impacted the generalizability of the results. Another limitation of this study was that both the intervention and control group attended the same school which may have resulted in the intervention group reporting nutrition lessons and gardening activities to the control group. Furthermore, students were assigned to a group as a classroom rather than randomly selected individually because it was not conducive to the school curriculum to rearrange the classrooms.
  • For this study, I imposed the limitation of using students from Eastern Kentucky University Model Laboratory School as participantsbecause of the affiliation between the school and the university. Additionally, Model’s students are more familiar with university students in the classroom which decreased the impact of a performance bias from the students.
  • Participants for this study were two fourth grade classrooms from Model Laboratory School at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. Classes were divided into two groups: a nutrition education plus gardening group and a control group. Sixty students participated in the study with thirty students in the control group and thirty students in the intervention group. A majority of students were Caucasian. Assignment to either the control or intervention group was chosen randomly by flipping a coin. The principal of Model School gave permission for teachers and students to participate in study. Additionally, parental consent was obtained for all participants.
  • For the intervention group, nutrition lessons were taught regarding plant anatomy, food labels, nutrients, physical activity, goal setting, and snack preparation, serving sizes, consumerism, and My Food Pyramid. A related gardening activity was included with every lesson. To evaluate the curriculum, a nutrition knowledge questionnaire and a vegetable preference survey were used. The nutrition knowledge questionnaire was read aloud to both the control and the intervention groups by a researcher for the study in order to limit the impact on the responses by various reading levels. Thirty multiple choice questions were asked based on content covered in the nutrition-education plus gardening curriculum. The vegetable preference survey consisted of children tasting a vegetable and assigning a preference rating to the vegetable. Vegetables were presented to students in both whole and sliced form and students were asked whether or not they were interested in tasting the vegetable. After tasting the vegetable, students rated the preference for the vegetable on a five-point scale. The scale ranged from “1” being “Really did not like” to “5” being “Really liked it a lot”.
  • Of the two classrooms participating in the study, the students in one classroom served as the control group and received no nutritional education classes or garden-based activities. The students in the other classroom served as the intervention group and received both nutrition education classes and garden-based activities. Pretest data for both groups was collected in October for the nutrition knowledge questionnaire and the vegetable preference survey. The intervention group received nine nutrition education lessons with related gardening activities taught by the classroom teacher. Nutrition lessons and gardening activities took place every other week and lasted for seventeen weeks. The intervention group also received a newsletter to reinforce nutrition lessons during the off weeks and stimulate family discussion of the topic. Lessons concluded at the beginning of April and post-test data was collected the following week for the nutrition knowledge questionnaire and the vegetable preference survey. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to compare differences between the intervention and control groups and well as differences within each group from pre- to post-test results. Groups were first compared in regards to performance on the nutrition knowledge questionnaire followed by a comparison in regards to vegetable preference surveys.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Effects of Garden Enhanced Nutrition Lessons on Nutrition Knowledge and Vegetable Preference of Fourth-Grade Students By: Lanie Coons
    • 2. Why is Nutrition Education and Vegetable Preference Important? • Childhood obesity • Chronic diseases • Fruit and vegetable consumption
    • 3. What is being Done? What is Being Done??
    • 4. Does it Work? • Participation • Knowledge • Preference • Consumption
    • 5. Why Does it Matter? • Kentucky adolescents eat 1.1 vegetables a day – • School gardens can increase consumption.
    • 6. Research Hypothesis • Nutrition lessons + gardening will increase nutrition knowledge and vegetable preference. + =
    • 7. Assumptions • Teacher can facilitate learning • Children respond truthfully • Instruments are valid and reliable
    • 8. Limitations • Sample size • Group assignment • Socialization
    • 9. Delimitations • Sample selection
    • 10. Who Will Participate? • Model Laboratory School • 4th grade students
    • 11. What Instruments Will Be Used? • Nutrition lessons • Nutrition knowledge questionnaire • Vegetable preference survey
    • 12. What is the Study Design? • Pre-test • Intervention • Post-test
    • 13. References • • • • • • • • • • American Diabetes Association. (n.d.). Carbohydrates. In American Diabetes Association. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from Google. Blanchette, L., & Brug, J. (2005). Determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption among 6–12-year-old children and effective interventions to increase consumption. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics, 18(6), 431–443. Birch, LL. Preschool children’s food preferences and consumption patterns. Journal of Nutr Education. 1979; 11:189-92. Boeing, H., Bechthold, A., Bub, A., Ellinger, S., Haller, D., Kroke, A., … Watzl, B. (2012). Critical review: vegetables and fruit in the prevention of chronic diseases. European Journal of Nutrition, 51(6), 637–663. Brouwer, R. J. N., & Neelon, S. E. B. (2013). Watch Me Grow: A garden-based pilot intervention to increase vegetable and fruit intake in preschoolers. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 363. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2013. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2013. Davis, J. N., Ventura, E. E., Cook, L. T., Gyllenhammer, L. E., & Gatto, N. M. (2011). LA sprouts: A gardening, nutrition, and cooking intervention for Latino youth improves diet and reduces obesity. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 111(8), 1224–1230. Gibbs, L., Staiger, P. K., Johnson, B., Block, K., Macfarlane, S., Gold, L., … Ukoumunne, O. (2013). Expanding children’s food experiences: The impact of a school-based kitchen garden program. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 45(2), 137–146. Graham, H., Beall, D. L., Lussier, M., McLaughlin, P., & Zidenbery-Cherr, S. (2005). Use of school gardens in academic instruction. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 37(3), 147–151. Graham, H., Feenstra, G., Evans, A. M., & Zidenberg-Cherr, S. (2004). Davis school program supports life long healthy eating habits in children. California Agriculture, 58(4). Retrieved from
    • 14. References • • • • • • • • • • Heim, S., Stang, J., & Ireland, M. (2009). A garden pilot project enhances fruit and vegetable consumption among children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(7), 1220–1226. Lineberger, S. E., & Zajicek, J. M. (2000). School gardens: Can a hands-on teaching tool affect students’ attitudes and behaviors regarding fruit and vegetables? HortTechnology, 10(3), 593–597. Retrieved from McAleese, J. D., & Rankin, L. L. (2007). Garden-based nutrition education affects fruit and vegetable consumption in sixth-grade adolescents. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107(4), 662–665. Monsivais, P., Mclain, J., & Drewnowski, A. (2010). The rising disparity in the price of healthful foods: 2004– 2008. Food Policy, 35(6), 514–520. Morris, J. L., & Zidenberg-Cherr, S. (2002). Garden-enhanced nutrition curriculum improves fourth-grade school children’s knowledge of nutrition and preferences for some vegetables. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 102(1), 91–93. Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Curtin LR, Lamb MM, & Flegal KM. (2010). Prevalence of high body mass index in us children and adolescents, 2007-2008. JAMA, 303(3), 242–249. Parmer, S. M., Salisbury-Glennon, J., Shannon, D., & Struempler, B. (2009). School gardens: An experiential learning approach for a nutrition education program to increase fruit and vegetable knowledge, preference, and consumption among second-grade students. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 41(3), 212–217. Prentice, A. m., & Jebb, S. a. (2003). Fast foods, energy density and obesity: a possible mechanistic link. Obesity Reviews, 4(4), 187. Swinburn, B., Caterson, I., Seidell, J., & James, W. (2004, February). Diet, nutrition and the prevention of excess weight gain and obesity [Electronic version]. Public Health Nutrition, 7(1), 123-146.