Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness (CHFFF) is aimed at 3rd to 6th graders, and uses experiential learning, food preparation, active games, goal setting, and a family newsletter to target behaviors shown to decrease childhood obesity and chronic disease risk. This study aimed to evaluate CHFFF as intended in low-income settings.
A quasi-experimental design with delayed intervention was used. CHFFF participants in 27 after-school and 28 in-school groups in 5 New York counties in 2014 to 2015 completed a self-report survey at initial enrollment, after a no-intervention control period, and after receiving CHFFF. Statistical analyses were based on 561 3rd to 6th graders who completed all 3 surveys and participated in at least 4 of the 6 lessons.
Compared to their control period, after receiving CHFFF, youth significantly improved in the following multi-item dietary scores: overall dietary intake (p < .001), vegetable intake (p < .001), fruit intake (p < .01), soda/fast food intake (p < .05) and intent to consume soda/fast food (p < .001). Youth also reported reading Nutrition Facts labels and sharing about healthy eating with their family more often (both p < .001), and greater likelihood of having tried a new food (p < .001).
Results provide evidence for the effectiveness of this curriculum in improving self-reported child diet and related behaviors.
© 2020 American School Health Association.