Journal Club 5: Previous Gardening Experience and Gardening Enjoyment is Related to Vegetable Preferences and Consumption Among Low-Income Elementary School Children

(Recorded 3/5/18)

Speaker: Alexandra van den Berg, PhD, MPH, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Texas!Grow!Eat!Go! (TGEG) was a 5-year garden-based intervention study implemented in 28 Title 1 elementary schools in Texas. As part of the baseline data collection, we collected information on gardening experience, gardening enjoyment, exposure to vegetables, vegetable preference and vegetable consumption from 1326 ethnically-diverse children. In this presentation we will discuss relationships between these variables as tested by random-effects regression models. We will also describe implications of this study on school-garden based interventions.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to describe the relationship between gardening experience, enjoyment of gardening, vegetable exposure, vegetable preference and vegetable consumption.
  2. Participants will be able to list gender and ethnic/racial differences in gardening experience and enjoyment.
  3. Participants will be able to describe the Texas!Grow!Eat!Go! Intervention as one way to increase gardening experience among children

Alexandra van den Berg, PhD, MPH, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Dr. van den Berg is a professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin. She is also the Associate Director of the Michael & Susan Dell Center for healthy Living. Dr. van den Berg has over 20 years of experience in the development and evaluation of large behavioral and environmental interventions focusing on food security, healthy eating and physical activity behaviors of families living in underserved, ethnically diverse communities. She is currently the PI for a 6 year study measuring a place-based initiative (Go Austin!/Vamos Austin! - GAVA study) in which her team is evaluating the impact of a large community-based initiative to increase access to healthful foods and physical activity opportunities in two low-income, mostly Hispanic communities on physical activity and eating behaviors among community residents. In another current 5-year NIH study (PI: Jamie Davis), the research team is assessing the impact of a community-based gardening, nutrition, and cooking intervention to improve dietary intake and reduce obesity and related metabolic disorders in predominately Hispanic children and their families living in low-income, rural, food desert communities using a randomized control trial (RCT) study design. In a recently completed USDA-funded study entitled “Texas!Grow!Eat!Go! (TGEG - PI: Warren; PI of evaluation subcontract: Evans), researchers used a factorial RCT study design to assess the impact of a nutrition and gardening program with or without a physical activity program for obesity prevention for 1600 3rd grade students (mostly Hispanic) enrolled in low-income schools in 5 different counties in Texas. The current presentation utilizes data obtained from the TGEG study.