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Associations between teacher support and students\u27 fruit and vegetable consumption in low-income elementary schools in central Texas

By Meredith Craft


Background. Similar to parent support in the home environment, teacher support at school may positively influence children\u27s fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption. This study assessed the relationship between teacher support for FV consumption and the FV intake of 4th and 5th grade students in low-income elementary schools in central Texas. Methods. A secondary analysis was performed on baseline data collected from 496 parent-child dyads during the Marathon Kids study carried out by the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the University of Texas School of Public Health. A hierarchical linear regression analysis adjusting for key demographic variables, parent support, and home FV availability was conducted. In addition, separate linear regression models stratified by quartiles of home FV availability were conducted to assess the relationship between teacher support and FV intake by level of home FV availability. Results. Teacher support was not significantly related to students\u27 FV intake (p = .44). However, the interaction of teacher support and home FV availability was positively associated with students\u27 FV consumption (p \u3c .05). For students in the lowest quartile of home FV availability, teacher support accounted for approximately 6% of the FV intake variance (p = .02). For higher levels of FV availability, teacher support and FV intake were not related. Conclusions. For lower income elementary school-aged children with low FV availability at home, greater teacher support may lead to modest increases in FV consumption

Topics: Nutrition|Public health
Publisher: DigitalCommons@TMC
Year: 2012
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