Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair

Nicole Stendell-Hollis

Second Committee Member

Clay Arango

Third Committee Member

Dana Ogan


Regular consumption of fruit and vegetables (F/V) may reduce the risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases, yet most American school children fail to meet recommended intakes. One proposed method for reducing childhood obesity is implementing school-based nutrition education programs aimed at increasing F/V intake. This repeated measures study examined the effectiveness of an eight-week F/V-targeted nutrition education intervention on elementary-school students’ nutrition knowledge, F/V preference, and salad bar consumption. A convenience sample of third- and fifth-grade students (n = 149) participated in the study. Surveys were administered pre- and post-intervention to assess F/V knowledge and preference. Pre- and post-plate waste analyses determined F/V consumption as well as total plate consumption. Results showed very few significant differences in pre- and post-nutrition knowledge and F/V preference. There were slight differences in overall nutrition knowledge and F/V preference between grades, with fifth-graders generally possessing a better understanding around the benefits of consuming F/V and a greater preference for F/V. There was no significant difference in F/V consumption; however, both grades consumed significantly more of their total plate after the intervention. The data suggests that a more multicomponent approach with a longer duration is needed to effectively increase elementary-aged students F/V consumption.