Four Northern Marianas college students research conluded fruit and vegetable consumption among young children would increase only through both proper nutrition education and food demonstrations.
These four students participated in the Child Health Assessement in the Pacific Undergraduate Summer Fellowship Program (CHAP), which is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant. For several weeks, they conducted research on various aspects of children's health and nutrition.
One of the research projects, led by NMC sophomore and CHAP fellow Andrea Loste, evaluated changes in children’s knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs toward fruit and vegetable intake before and after participating in nutrition education activities.
Loste’s research involved conducting surveys and handing out food frequency questionnaires and food recognition forms to assess fruit and vegetable dietary intake and nutrition knowledge after participants attended nutrition classes and viewed two food demonstrations.
“I was able to conclude from the research that nutrition education positively influenced participants’ beliefs toward fruits and vegetable intake and that participation in food demonstrations increased the likelihood of participants’ fruit and vegetable consumption and inclination to eat the food made during both food demonstrations,” said Loste.
The objectives of the CHAP Summer Fellowship Program, one of the training components of the Children’s Healthy Living Program, are threefold: building Pacific regional capacity in early childhood nutrition and health assessment; developing and sustaining the Pacific network of individuals working to monitor and prevent early childhood obesity and health disparities; and working to develop training in early childhood nutrition and health assessment.
Students from Chaminade University, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the University of Guam also participated in the CHAP program.
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