Poster Theater Flash Session
Nutrition Education and Behavioral Sciences
The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effect of Body Quest: Food of the Warrior nutrition curriculum on preferences and willingness to consume fruits and vegetables among third graders.
Methods : After collecting signed parental and photo consent forms, 326 third grade students received the intervention. Students received the Body Quest education program and participated in a Veggie Tasting of six vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, spinach, and tomatoes). Students were asked if they liked the vegetable before and after tasting it, if they would eat the vegetable in the future, and if they would ask their parents to buy the vegetable for them to eat at home. Assessments of data were completed in four periods, weeks 1, 7, 12, and 17. Alpha was set at 0.05.
Results : Approximately half of the students were male (n = 163; 50.2%). The largest percentage of students were white (n = 171; 53.1%). Black students comprised the next largest group (n = 112; 34.8%), and Hispanic and American Indian students comprised the remaining 12.1% (n = 39) students. Generalized estimating equations analysis revealed that, over time, statistically significant changes in preference for cauliflower and spinach occurred with students decreasing their liking for cauliflower (p = .04) and increasing their liking for spinach (p = .01). A statistically significant change in students’ interest in eating cauliflower (p = .01) and tomatoes (p = .03) in the future occurred with students initially indicating an increased willingness to eat the two vegetables, but ultimately showing a decreased willingness to eat either vegetable. A similar pattern of willingness to ask their parents to buy spinach (p = .04) occurred with students initially showing an increased willingness to ask their parents to buy spinach but ultimately indicating a decrease in their willingness to make that request.
Conclusions : This research suggests that Body Quest was effective in improving liking and willingness to try and request some vegetables. Because liking and willingness to request decreased in cauliflower and spinach, respectively more research is warranted to identify the optimal length of food exposure to change preference among this population.
Funding Sources : Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education (SNAP-Ed)