Schoolyard gardens are emerging as a nutrition education tool in academic settings. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of garden-based nutrition education on adolescents’ fruit and vegetable consumption using a nonequivalent control group design. Sixth-grade students (n=99) at three different elementary schools made up a control and two treatment groups. Students in the treatment groups participated in a 12-week nutrition education program, and one treatment group also participated in garden-based activities. Students in all three groups completed three 24-hour food-recall workbooks before and after the intervention. A repeated-measures analysis of variance showed that adolescents who participated in the garden-based nutrition intervention increased their servings of fruits and vegetables more than students in the two other groups. Significant increases were also found in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber intake. Although further research is needed, the results of this study seem to indicate the efficacy of using garden-based nutrition education to increase adolescents’ consumption of fruits and vegetables. 

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Research Categories: 
Journal: 
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Author Last Name: 
McAleese
Author First Name: 
Jessica D
Publication Month: 
April
Publication Year: 
2007
Research Source: 
http://www.journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/yjada/article/S0002-8223(07)00014-4/abstract