Abstract 28: KickinNutrition.TV: A Digital Nutrition Education Curriculum for Middle-School Students Increases Self-Efficacy for Healthy Habits.
Child health promotion and obesity prevention efforts demand effective skills-based nutrition education. KickinNutrition.TV (KNTV) offers an innovation in school-based nutrition education where evidence-based curricula, teacher training, classroom time, and school resources are lacking. KNTV was designed using digital technology to empower students to get in the kitchen and cook by providing information and skills to increase consumption of fresh, whole foods. We assessed the hypothesis that exposure to KickinNutrition.TV would impact nutrition-related behaviors to a greater extent than exposure to traditional (non-digital) nutrition lessons. This quasi-experiment involved 1,105 students in 10 schools in three public school districts in Massachusetts (2 urban, 1 suburban). Schools were assigned in a 2:1 ratio within districts to receive either the digital KNTV curriculum or a comparison curriculum. Classroom teachers in each school were trained to deliver a set of 6 weekly nutrition lessons to students in 6th grade. Assessments included pre- and post-curriculum surveys of nutrition knowledge, personal behaviors, readiness to change and self-efficacy. Baseline surveys were completed by 1,052 (95%) students and 778 (82%) provided follow up surveys. The study sample was 51% female, 48% white, 26% Latino and 16.5% African American. At baseline, average nutrition knowledge scores were 69.8% ± 20% and were not different for students in KNTV or comparison classrooms. At baseline, about half of students (49%) reportedly ate vegetables on a daily basis and only 42% consumed milk or yogurt daily. Only 46% of students reported that they knew how to identify a whole grain food, with a similarly low percentage (47%) reportedly eating whole grain foods daily. One in three children reported being involved in helping to cook dinner for their family. At program conclusion, compared to students receiving traditional lessons, measurably larger shifts in self-efficacy were observed among students exposed to KNTV for being able to identify whole grain foods (p=.08) and for helping to cook dinner (p=.01). Larger shifts in readiness to change were observed among KNTV students for daily consumption of vegetables (p=.06) and breakfast (p=.03). About 40% of students increased their nutrition knowledge score but gains were not different by classroom type. Participation in KNTV was associated with greater likelihood of having eaten breakfast daily in the past week (p=.01) and for achieving My Plate guidelines for food variety at breakfast (p=.001) and lunch (p=.01). These data provide evidence of nutritional vulnerability among a diverse sample of middle-school students and demonstrate the positive impact of a novel nutrition education program. KickinNutrition.TV offers a digital solution to overcome several obstacles to nutrition education in schools.
Author Disclosures: N.S. Maggiolo: None. R.T. Yan: None. C.M. Zakhour: None. K.A. Patrick: None. T. Cui: None. P.A. Quatromoni: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.