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Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy

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Foster Healthy Habits Through Understanding Students' Beliefs and Practices

A recent study in Appetite by Dr. Isobel Contento and the Tisch Food Center team investigates how students' beliefs and practices are linked to what they choose to eat. This research can make nutrition education more effective at moving students towards healthy habits. 

One finding was students ate more fruits and vegetables when they knew where to access them. Educators can help students identify where they can get fruits and vegetables during school meals and in their neighborhoods and how to work them into their daily routines. Another finding was that kids drank less soda when they believed there were negative consequences to drinking a lot of sugar sweetened beverages. An effective strategy is to have students measure out teaspoons of sugar in beverages to reveal that a single beverage can exceed the entire day's limit of added sugar. Finally, the students who ate less processed packaged snacks, such as chips and candy, were those who made action plans to eat less of them. For an example of how to make an action plan, see the In Defense of Food Curriculum, pg. 111.

This study is from the baseline results from the Food, Health and Choices study, funded by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Grant no. 2010-85215-20661 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Human Nutrition and Obesity. 

Published Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016

Foster Healthy Habits Through Understanding Students' Beliefs and Practices

One finding was students ate more fruits and vegetables when they knew where to access them. Educators can help students identify where they can get fruits and vegetables during school meals and in their neighborhoods and how to work them into their daily routines. Another finding was that kids drank less soda when they believed there were negative consequences to drinking a lot of sugar sweetened beverages. An effective strategy is to have students measure out teaspoons of sugar in beverages to reveal that a single beverage can exceed the entire day's limit of added sugar. Finally, the students who ate less processed packaged snacks, such as chips and candy, were those who made action plans to eat less of them. For an example of how to make an action plan, see the In Defense of Food Curriculum, pg. 111.

This study is from the baseline results from the Food, Health and Choices study, funded by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Grant no. 2010-85215-20661 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Human Nutrition and Obesity. 

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