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Systematic review of school and community-based fruit and vegetable interventions for minority children

Authors Rush S, Knowlden A

Received 21 February 2014

Accepted for publication 11 May 2014

Published 26 September 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 111—126


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Sarah E Rush, Adam P Knowlden

Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa AL, USA

Background: Schools and communities provide effective environments to change health behaviors in children and adolescents, particularly among minority populations. The purpose of this investigation was to systematically analyze community and school-based interventions aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable intake (FVI) among minority children.
Methods: In collecting materials for this review, a search of CINAHL, MEDLINE, ERIC, Academic Search Premier, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials was conducted for articles spanning January 2003 to November 2013. The data extraction covered three phases, resulting in a total of eleven interventions that met the specified inclusion criteria.
Results: Among the studies identified, ten interventions produced significant outcomes on observed variables. The majority of the programs incorporated multicomponent approaches aimed at increasing FVI and antecedents of FVI behavior. Eight of the interventions applied social cognitive theory, one reported use of other theories, and two did not apply theory. None of the interventions reviewed employed process evaluation.
Conclusion: While both school and community-based interventions utilized over the past decade have separately shown significant impacts on changing dietary behaviors in children, community members and organizations can serve as supplementary approaches to partner with schools and design even more successful interventions based on these combined resources. School and community-based interventions have had a great deal of success in impacting self-efficacy levels as well as actual eating behaviors in children; however, the school and community-based interventions reviewed both noted lack of resources as a limitation. Therefore, combining these resources has the potential to help create more high-quality studies from which to draw evidence-based conclusions on the most effective means of impacting health behaviors among minority children in the school and community settings.

Keywords: children, fruit and vegetable, interventions, minority, social cognitive theory, goal setting

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