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School garden programmes have become popular action-oriented learning environments in many countries, often driven by converging priorities of environmental sustainability and healthful diets. Many of these programmes have assessed the impact on dietary intake, specifically fruit and vegetable intake, and related dietary behaviours, such as knowledge, preference, motivation, intention and self-efficacy to eat and prepare fruit and vegetables. The objective of the present study was twofold: (i) to review published garden-based programmes conducted in schools targeting dietary intake and/or determinants of dietary behaviour in children; and (ii) to identify similar strategies and components employed by these garden-based programmes.
The review included thirteen studies that have examined the impact of garden-based programmes conducted in school, either during school hours or in after-school settings, on dietary behaviours in children (kindergarten through 8th grade students).
Three of the reviewed studies did not have a comparison or control group and simply evaluated within-group changes after a garden intervention. None of the reviewed studies were randomized, but were assigned based on school’s interest and timing of new school gardens being built. Out of the eleven programmes that examined dietary intake, six found that the programme resulted in increased vegetable intake, whereas four showed no effect. Seven of the eight studies that measured preference found that the programmes resulted in increased preference for vegetables. Gardening programmes also resulted in improved attitudes towards, willingness to taste, identification of and self-efficacy to prepare/cook fruit and vegetables. Similar strategies/components employed by the majority of the programmes included: ‘hands on’ curriculum, incorporation of a cooking component, providing the instructors, parental and stakeholder support, food provision and using the garden as the focal point for media promotion.
Some of the garden programmes resulted in increased vegetable intake, which has positive implications for both environment sustainability and health-related outcomes. Further, the majority resulted in some improvement in behaviour determinants more generally. However, more research is warranted to understand how to achieve long-term improvements in dietary behaviours and how to sustain the garden-based programmes in schools.
To document food acquisition experiences during Iraqi military occupation in Kuwait.
Retrospective cross-sectional study.
Urban areas in Kuwait during occupation.
Those living in Kuwait during the period of occupation, and aged between 15 to 50 years at the time of occupation, recruited by snowball sampling. A total of 390 completed questionnaires (response rate 78 %, 202 female and 188 male) were returned.
During the occupation, food became increasingly difficult to acquire. Two food systems emerged: (i) an underground Kuwaiti network linked to foods recovered from local food cooperatives and (ii) a black market supplied by food imported through Iraq or stolen locally. Food shortages led to reductions in meal size and frequency. Some respondents (47·7 %) reported not having sufficient income to purchase food and 22·1 % had to sell capital items to purchase food. There was a significant increase (P<0·01) in home production, with 23·1 % of people growing vegetables and 39·0 % raising animals to supplement food needs. Reduction in food wastage also emerged as a significant self-reported behaviour change. Respondents reported deterioration in the quality and availability of fish, milk, and fruit in particular. Despite a decrease in opportunities for physical activity, most respondents reported that they lost weight during the occupation.
Although the Kuwaiti population fell by about 90 % and domestic food production increased during the 7-month occupation, the local population continued to rely heavily on imported food to meet population needs. The high prevalence of self-reported weight loss indicates the inadequacies of this food supply. High apparent food security in systems which significantly exceed the ecological carrying capacity of the local environment and rely on mass food importation remains vulnerable.
To determine the prevalence and usage of food gardens in primary schools in three distinct climatic regions of north-eastern Australia.
Cross-sectional surveys combining quantitative and qualitative data collection. Two separate telephone questionnaires were developed and implemented, according to the presence or absence of a food garden within the school. Main outcome measures were answers to scaled response and open-ended questions related to factors supporting and inhibiting the establishment and sustainability of school food gardens.
All state primary schools in three disparate regions of the north-eastern Australian state of Queensland were asked to participate in the study.
A total of 71 % (n 128) of schools agreed to participate. Of these, thirty-seven primary schools had functioning food gardens. The variations in prevalence between regions combined with respondent views indicated climate as a major factor affecting the success of food gardens. Gardens were often used as a tool by schools to teach science, environment or social skills. Gardening activities were generally linked to curriculum studies on plants, fruit and vegetable intake, and healthy eating. The main issues for schools and teachers in establishing food gardens were the time required and the lack of personnel to coordinate garden activities. Of the schools with food gardens, 92 % believed their garden had been a success.
The study revealed strong grass-roots support for school-based food gardens. Although climate and location were important factors associated with the presence of a functioning food garden, respondents nominated teacher involvement and sustained motivation as essential factors for successful school food gardens.
To determine changes in ability to identify specific vegetables and fruits, and attitudes towards vegetables and fruit, associated with the introduction of a school-based food garden.
A 12-month intervention trial using a historical control (control n 132, intervention n 120), class-based, self-administered questionnaires requiring one-word answers and 3-point Likert scale responses.
A state primary school (grades 4 to 7) in a low socio-economic area of Brisbane, Australia.
The introduction of a school-based food garden, including the funding of a teacher coordinator for 11 h/week to facilitate integration of garden activities into the curriculum.
Main outcome measures
Ability to identify a series of vegetables and fruits, attitudes towards vegetables and fruit.
Frequency distributions for each item were generated and χ2 analyses were used to determine statistical significance. Exploratory factor analysis was employed to detect major trends in data.
The intervention led to enhanced ability to identify individual vegetables and fruits, greater attention to origins of produce (garden-grown and fresh), changes to perceived consumption of vegetables and fruits, and enhanced confidence in preparing fruit and vegetable snacks, but decreased interest in trying new fruits.
The introduction of this school-based food garden was associated with skill and attitudinal changes conducive to enhancing vegetable and fruit consumption. The ways in which such changes might impact on dietary behaviours and intake require further analysis.
To estimate flavonoid intake in the Australian population.
Flavonoid consumption was estimated from 24-hour recall data and apparent consumption data using US Department of Agriculture flavonoid composition data.
The National Nutrition Survey 1995 assessed dietary intake (24-hour recall) in a representative sample (n = 13 858) of the Australian population aged 2 years and over.
Analysis of the 24-hour recall data indicated an average adult intake (>18 years) of 454 mg day− 1 (92% being flavan-3-ols). Apple was the highest quercetin source until age 16–18 years, after which onion became an increasingly important prominent source. Variations in hesperetin consumption reflected orange intake. Apple, apricot and grapes were the major sources of epicatechin and catechin for children, but subsided as wine consumption increased in adulthood. Wine was the main source of malvidin. Naringenin intake remained static as a percentage of total flavonoid intake until age 19–24 years, corresponding to orange intake, and then increased with age from 19–24 years, corresponding to grapefruit intake. Apparent dietary flavonoid consumption was 351 mg person− 1 day− 1, of which 75% were flavan-3-ols. Black tea was the major flavonoid source (predominantly flavan-3-ols) representing 70% of total intake. Hesperetin and naringenin were the next most highly consumed flavonoids, reflecting orange intake. Both 24-hour recall and apparent consumption data indicated that apigenin intake was markedly higher in Australia than reported in either the USA or Denmark, presumably due to differences in consumption data for leaf and stalk vegetables and parsley.
Tea was the major dietary flavonoid source in Australia. Flavonoid consumption profiles and flavonoid sources varied according to age. More consistent methodologies, survey tools validated for specific flavonoid intakes and enhanced local flavonoid content data for foods would facilitate better international comparisons of flavonoid intake.
To estimate the intake of refined sugar in Australian children and adolescents, aged 2–18 years.
Foods contributing to total sugar intake were identified using data from the National Nutrition Survey 1995 (NNS95), the most recent national dietary survey of the Australian population. The top 100 foods represented means of 85% (range 79–91%) and 82% (range 78–85%) of total sugar intake for boys and girls, respectively. Using published Australian food composition data (NUTTAB95), the proportion of total sugar being refined sugar was estimated for each food. Where published food composition data were not available, calculations from ingredients and manufacturer's information were used.
The NNS95 assessed the dietary intake of a random sample of the Australian population, aged 2–18 years (n = 3007).
Mean daily intakes of refined sugar ranged from 26.9 to 78.3 g for 2–18-year-old girls, representing 6.6–14.8% of total energy intake. Corresponding figures for boys were 27.0 to 81.6 g and 8.0–14.0%, respectively. Of the 10 highest sources of refined sugar for each age group, sweetened beverages, especially cola-type beverages, were the most prominent.
Refined sugar is an important contributor to dietary energy in Australian children. Sweetened beverages such as soft drinks and cordials were substantial sources of refined sugar and represent a potential target for campaigns to reduce refined sugar intake. Better access to information on the amounts of sugar added to processed food is essential for appropriate monitoring of this important energy source.