Health Educ Res 2014 Oct 2;29(5):812-21. Epub 2014 Jun 2.
Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 921 Assembly Street, RM 131, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.
The objective of this study was to describe the 3-year outcomes (2011-2013) from the healthy lunchbox challenge (HLC) delivered in the US-based summer day camps (SDC) (8-10 hours day(-1), 10-11 weeks summer(-1), SDC) to increase children and staff bringing fruit, vegetables and water (FVW) each day. A single group pre- with multiple post-test design was used in four large-scale SDCs serving more than 550 children day(-1) (6-12 years). The percentage of foods/beverages brought by children/staff, staff promotion of healthy eating and children's consumption of FVW was assessed via direct observation over 98 days across three summers. For children (3308 observations), fruit and vegetables (>11-16%) increased; no changes were observed for FVW for staff (398 observations). Reductions in unhealthy foods/beverages (e.g. soda/pop and chips) were observed for both children and staff (minus -10% to 38%). Staff role modeling unhealthy eating/drinking initially decreased but increased by 2013. The majority of children who brought fruit/vegetables consumed them. The HLC can influence the foods/beverages brought to SDCs. Enhancements are required to further increase FVW brought and consumed.