206907 Impact of the MyPyramid Color-bar Signage System on fruit and vegetable choices and consumption among Kindergarteners

Monday, November 9, 2009

Katie Kavanagh, PhD, RD , Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Betty Greer, PhD, RD , Family and Consumer Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Carolyn Perry-Burst, MS, RD, LDN , Knox County School System, Knoxville, TN
Marsha Spence, PhD, MS-MPH, RD , Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the MyPyramid Color-bar Signage System, which is a unique, targeted environmental change for school cafeterias paired with nutrition education, designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among Kindergarteners in an inner city school. The color-bar system is an educational tool to assist pre-readers with choosing a variety of colors at their meals.

A nutrition education lesson designed to teach students about MyPyramid and the signage system was introduced to students in the intervention school Kindergarten classrooms during the week that the signage system was implemented in the cafeteria. A second school served as the control. Students' food selection was assessed using photographs of student trays. Post-consumption trays were collected and food was measured to assess plate waste and calculate consumption.

At baseline, total consumption between schools was not significantly different [intervention: n=49, 307.0 g (SD 112.43); control: n=48, 326.0 g (SD 116.96)]. At follow-up mean total consumption did not differ by school [intervention: n =44, 335.6 g (SD 120.34); control: n=72, 349.6 g (SD 117.79)]. Though there was no difference in percent vegetable consumption, percent fruit consumption was significantly higher in the intervention school (68.9% (SD 38.71)) compared to the control school (51.9% (SD 39.5) p=0.0391). Data from this study will inform full implementation and evaluation of the program system wide, which, if successful, may serve as a model nationwide for targeted nutrition education linked to school environmental changes.

Learning Objectives:
1) The learner will be able to describe a unique method to assess students' food selection using photography. 2) The learner will be able to outline steps to evaluate students' consumption of fruits and vegetables. 3) The learner will be able to describe plate waste methodology.

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Co-PI on this study and have been involved in all steps of the evaluation and protocol for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.