Event Title

Measuring the Impact of Incentives on School Level (Aggregate) Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Two Wisconsin Elementary Schools

Mentor 1

Eric Jamelske

Mentor 2

Sydney Chinchanachokchai

Location

Union 280

Start Date

24-4-2015 1:00 PM

Description

Fruit and vegetable consumption has been shown to improve health and reduce the risk of a variety of costly chronic diseases. However, children’s fruit and vegetable intake in the United States is well below USDA recommended guidelines. As a result, increasing children’s fruit and vegetable consumption has become an important focus among practitioners, policymakers and researchers. Given that children spend significant time in school and are exposed to a variety of foods during this time, there have been many school-based policies and interventions designed to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption. Recent research has begun to examine the influence of incentives to motivate children to eat more fruits and vegetables. For this project we partnered with two Western Wisconsin elementary schools (N=420 and N=440) to examine the influence of a variety of incentives on aggregate school-level fruit and vegetable consumption by children during school lunch over three distinct periods of study. We observed, measured and recorded baseline consumption over an initial period (3 days) followed by an incentive period (6 days) and ended with a return to baseline period (3 days). Students in both schools were offered three different types of incentives to motivate them to eat more fruits and vegetables. If aggregate fruit and vegetable consumption increased, all students would receive free passes to a roller skating rink, two students in each grade (12 total) would be randomly selected to receive a $20 Walmart gift card and the school would receive a plaque of recognition to display in the main office. Students were informed of the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables as well as what prizes they could win for increasing their consumption through both school-wide morning announcements and pre-lunch classroom announcements during the incentive period. Our results show that aggregate fruit and vegetable consumption increased in both schools during the incentive period, but the increase in school one was larger than in school two. We also found that only one school sustained an increase in consumption during the return to baseline period, but this increase was limited to only fruit. Our results contribute to the discussion and development of best practices that can be used by schools in collaboration with researchers and community partners to increase children’s fruit and vegetable intake. Our ultimate goal is to improve both the eating habits and the health and wellness of children both locally and nationally by informing the public discourse on this important issue. This presentation leads into a second presentation from the same data outlining successes, challenges and recommendations for future research from this research experience.

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Apr 24th, 1:00 PM

Measuring the Impact of Incentives on School Level (Aggregate) Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Two Wisconsin Elementary Schools

Union 280

Fruit and vegetable consumption has been shown to improve health and reduce the risk of a variety of costly chronic diseases. However, children’s fruit and vegetable intake in the United States is well below USDA recommended guidelines. As a result, increasing children’s fruit and vegetable consumption has become an important focus among practitioners, policymakers and researchers. Given that children spend significant time in school and are exposed to a variety of foods during this time, there have been many school-based policies and interventions designed to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption. Recent research has begun to examine the influence of incentives to motivate children to eat more fruits and vegetables. For this project we partnered with two Western Wisconsin elementary schools (N=420 and N=440) to examine the influence of a variety of incentives on aggregate school-level fruit and vegetable consumption by children during school lunch over three distinct periods of study. We observed, measured and recorded baseline consumption over an initial period (3 days) followed by an incentive period (6 days) and ended with a return to baseline period (3 days). Students in both schools were offered three different types of incentives to motivate them to eat more fruits and vegetables. If aggregate fruit and vegetable consumption increased, all students would receive free passes to a roller skating rink, two students in each grade (12 total) would be randomly selected to receive a $20 Walmart gift card and the school would receive a plaque of recognition to display in the main office. Students were informed of the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables as well as what prizes they could win for increasing their consumption through both school-wide morning announcements and pre-lunch classroom announcements during the incentive period. Our results show that aggregate fruit and vegetable consumption increased in both schools during the incentive period, but the increase in school one was larger than in school two. We also found that only one school sustained an increase in consumption during the return to baseline period, but this increase was limited to only fruit. Our results contribute to the discussion and development of best practices that can be used by schools in collaboration with researchers and community partners to increase children’s fruit and vegetable intake. Our ultimate goal is to improve both the eating habits and the health and wellness of children both locally and nationally by informing the public discourse on this important issue. This presentation leads into a second presentation from the same data outlining successes, challenges and recommendations for future research from this research experience.