Food and Nutrition Attitudes Evaluations

Food and Nutrition Attitudes Evaluations

Food and Nutrition Attitudes Evaluations: Results from School-based Programs

An additional benefit of our evaluations is that they allow us to team with researchers to conduct analyses that help refine psychological theories for practitioners around the world. Here are a few examples of how our data have been used by researchers to better understand children’s eating behaviors.

Build children’s attitudes towards nutrition, or focus on improving their confidence to eat healthy?

It has long been known that beliefs about the benefits of eating healthy and confidence to make healthy food choices (aka self-efficacy) are associated with children who eat more healthy foods. However, it has not been clear whether we should spend more time trying to convince children of the benefits of healthy eating, or if we should focus on trying to improve their confidence to eat healthy foods. Published peer-reviewed research using data from our third-grade Shaping Up My Choices program for third graders indicate that improving children’s confidence to eat healthy may be more important! Read more about this study here.

By better measuring our children’s eating patterns, we can do a better job tracking their healthy eating!

Healthy eating has historically been rather difficult to measure in children. However, using advanced statistical techniques on data from our third-grade Shaping Up My Choices program, researchers found a pattern in the way that children consume milk, vegetables, fruit, and 100% fruit juice. While none of these foods represent a healthy diet on their own, combining all of these foods based on the consistent pattern observed in our data gives a more comprehensive way to measure healthy eating. Read more about this study here.