Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Healthier Diets Possible in Low-Income, Rural Communities

Date:
October 11, 2013
Source:
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Summary:
In the United States, children don’t eat enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Instead, their diets typically include excessive amounts of sugars and solid fats, counter to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations, increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes. A team of investigators implemented a two-year intervention study in low-income, rural areas where a disproportionately higher risk of overweight and obesity habits among children persists. The children enrolled in the study consumed significantly more fruits and vegetables.

In the United States, children don't eat enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Instead, their diets typically include excessive amounts of sugars and solid fats, counter to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations, increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes. A team of investigators implemented a two-year intervention study in low-income, rural areas where a disproportionately higher risk of overweight and obesity habits among children persists, leading to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease in adulthood. The children enrolled in the study consumed significantly more fruits and vegetables. The results are published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

To evaluate students' diet quality at the beginning and after the study, researchers designed the CHANGE (Creating Healthy, Active and Nurturing Growing-up Environments) study, a two-year randomized, controlled, community- and school-based intervention to prevent unhealthy weight gain among rural school-aged children.

"Our primary objectives were to improve the diets, physical activity levels, and weight status of rural children based on the successful model developed by Tufts University researchers for the Shape Up Somerville study," says lead investigator Christina Economos, PhD, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston . "The objective of our analysis was to examine changes in fruit, vegetable, legume, whole-grain and low-fat dairy consumption among rural elementary students who were exposed to the CHANGE study intervention compared with students in control schools," says lead author Juliana F. W. Cohen, ScM, ScD, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston. The team wanted to test its hypothesis that students exposed to the study would improve their diet quality due to healthier food environments.

Eight communities in rural California, Kentucky, Mississippi, and South Carolina participated in the study between 2007 and 2009. Two communities in each state were randomly assigned to either an intervention or control group. Students in the intervention sample were given daily access to healthier school foods and weekly educational curriculum which incorporated the goals of the Shape Up Somerville model: at least five servings of fruits and vegetables; no more than two hours of television or other screen time; and at least one hour of physical activity. The mean age of the 1,230 participating students was 8.6 and about 85-95 percent were nonwhite.

A baseline analysis revealed that students in CHANGE schools: • Ate similar amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, potatoes/potato products, saturated fats, and sugars as students in control schools • Consumed significantly more legumes

As a result of the intervention, food consumption of students in CHANGE schools was significantly different than students in the control schools with the following results: • Eating 0.08 cups of vegetables per 1,000 kcal more per day • Eating 0.22 cups combined fruits and vegetables per 1,000 kcal more per day • Had a significantly lower glycemic index

There was a trend toward more fruit consumption in the CHANGE study intervention with 0.15 cups per 1,000 kcal per day.

Dr. Cohen concludes, "The outcomes of the CHANGE study provide evidence that a multi-component intervention targeting low-income children living in rural communities in America can improve their diet quality. Overall, students consumed significantly more vegetables and combined fruits and vegetables after exposure to the CHANGE study intervention compared with students in control schools and communities."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Juliana F.W. Cohen, Vivica I. Kraak, Silvina F. Choumenkovitch, Raymond R. Hyatt, Christina D. Economos. The CHANGE Study: A Healthy-Lifestyles Intervention to Improve Rural Children's Diet Quality. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.08.014

Cite This Page:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Healthier Diets Possible in Low-Income, Rural Communities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011093329.htm>.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2013, October 11). Healthier Diets Possible in Low-Income, Rural Communities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011093329.htm
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Healthier Diets Possible in Low-Income, Rural Communities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131011093329.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Leaks Net Pulitzer For Guardian, Washington Post

NSA Leaks Net Pulitzer For Guardian, Washington Post

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded to The Washington Post and The Guardian for their work covering the NSA's surveillance programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) A Dutch highway has become the first lit by glow-in-the-dark paint — a project aimed at reducing street light use. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins