Background. This paper reviews the available literature on the school food environment with a focus on identifying effective strategies to promote vegetable and fruit (VF) consumption among youth in school settings. Methods. Studies were identified through a search of electronic databases as well as references cited within published articles. Seven studies were identified that evaluated changes in VF intake and included a control group. Four additional school-based interventions were reviewed that focused on changes in VF intake as part of a multibehavior intervention. Results. Multicomponent school interventions have been effective in increasing F intake, with reported increases ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 servings per day. Impact on V intake has been less effective, with increases ranging from 0 to 0.3 servings per day. Total VF increases ranged from 0 to 0.6 servings per day. Results of environmental-only, school-based interventions have shown positive effects on students' choice of targeted foods. Conclusions. Environmental change interventions in schools show potential for positively affecting VF consumption among youth.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute.