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East Independence, MO, United States

Katz D.L.,Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center | Katz D.L.,Yale University | Katz C.S.,Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center | Treu J.A.,Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center | And 5 more authors.
Journal of School Health

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a nutrition education program designed to teach elementary school students and their parents, and to distinguish between more healthful and less healthful choices in diverse food categories. METHODS: Three schools were assigned to receive the Nutrition Detectives™ program and 2 comparable schools served as controls. A total of 1180 second, third, and fourth grade elementary school students were included, with 628 students in the intervention and 552 in the control group. The program, delivered by physical education instructors over several sessions totaling less than 2 hours, taught the children how to read food labels and detect marketing deceptions, while learning to identify and choose healthful foods. Parents were introduced to the program through written materials sent home and at school functions. Assessments included a food label quiz, dietary pattern, and body mass index (BMI). RESULTS: Students in intervention schools showed a significant increase in nutrition label literacy (p < .01). Third grade students showed the most improvement, 23% (p < .01). The parents of intervention group students also showed a significant increase in nutrition label literacy by 8% (p < .01). Total caloric, sodium, and total sugar intake decreased nonsignificantly among students in the intervention group (p > .05). BMI did not change over the short duration of the study. CONCLUSIONS: Nutrition Detectives effectively enhances the ability of students and their parents to identify more nutritious food choices. Further evaluation of the program and its potential to influence dietary pattern, BMI, and health outcomes in students and their families is warranted. © 2011, American School Health Association. Source

Reynolds J.S.,Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center | Treu J.A.,Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center | Njike V.,Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center | Walker J.,Independence School District | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

Objective: To determine the reliability and validity of a 10-item questionnaire, the Food Label Literacy for Applied Nutrition Knowledge questionnaire. Methods: Participants were elementary school children exposed to a 90-minute school-based nutrition program. Reliability was assessed via Cronbach α and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Validity was assessed comparing the questionnaire's food choices using an objective metric of nutrition quality, the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI), via t test. Statistical significance was set at05. Results: Four hundred ninety-nine children participated, 51% were female, and the average age was 8.6 (± 0.9) years. Cronbach α = .77 and ICC = 0.68 (between administrations) were observed. ONQI scores of correct responses were significantly higher when compared to the ONQI scores of incorrect responses (27.4 ± 9.4 vs 16.2 ± 9.4; P = .01). Conclusions and Implications: The Food Label Literacy for Applied Nutrition Knowledge questionnaire was found to be both reliable and a valid measure of food label literacy in children taught the Nutrition Detectives program. © 2012 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Source

Katz D.L.,Yale University | Doughty K.,Yale University | Njike V.,Yale University | Treu J.A.,Yale University | And 4 more authors.
Public Health Nutrition

Objective: The present study directly compared prices of more and less nutritious foods within given categories in US supermarkets. Design: Foods selected from six supermarkets in Jackson County were categorized using the five criteria of the Nutrition Detectives™ (ND) programme and an item-to-item cost comparison was made using posted prices. The nutritional quality of foods was distinguished using the clues of the ND nutrition education programme for elementary-school children and validated using the Overall Nutritional Quality Index. Setting: Supermarkets in Jackson County, MO, USA. Subjects: Not applicable. Results: The average price of the item for more nutritious foods did not differ significantly from that of less nutritious foods overall ($US 2·89 (sd $US 0·74) v. $US 2·85 (sd $0·68), P = 0·76). More nutritious breads cost more than less nutritious breads ($US 3·36 (sd $ US 0·28) v. $US 2·56 (sd $US 0·80, P = 0·03), whereas more nutritious cereals ($US 2·46 (sd $US 0·69) v. $US 3·50 (sd $US 0·30), P < 0·01) and cookies ($US 2·76 (sd $US 0·50) v. $US 3·40 (sd $US0·28), P < 0·01) cost less. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that it is possible to choose more nutritious foods within many common categories without spending more money and suggest that making small improvements in dietary choices does not invariably cost more. © 2011 The Authors. Source

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