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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Food behavior checklist effectively evaluates nutrition education

  • Author(s): Blackburn, Mary L
  • Townsend, Marilyn S
  • Kaiser, Lucia L
  • Martin, Anna C
  • West, Estella A
  • Turner, Barbara
  • Joy, Amy B
  • et al.

We developed a short food behavior checklist (FBC) to evaluate the impact of nutrition education on fruit and vegetable intake among ethnically diverse women in the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program (FSNEP) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). To validate the FBC, interviewers collected three 24-hour dietary recalls as well as responses to 11 FBC behavioral questions about fruits and vegetables from 100 English-speaking, low-income women at baseline. A randomly selected subgroup (n = 59) provided a blood sample for analysis of total serum carotenoids at baseline and follow-up. After 6 hours of nutrition education, the treatment group reported significant improvements in three of the seven FBC questions related to fruit and vegetable intake, while no significant changes occurred in the control group. Furthermore, six of the seven FBC questions were significantly correlated with total serum carotenoids. This short, culturally neutral FBC is a valid and reliable indicator of fruit and vegetable consumption. Compared with the 24-hour dietary recall, it is also less time-consuming to administer, code and analyze, with a reduced respondent burden.

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