New Study Released on the Impact of Food Education on Students’ Choices

UC Berkley’s Center for Weight & Health released their newest food education report “Changing Students’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior in Relation to Food: An Evaluation of the School Lunch Initiative.”

You can find it at or here, in pdf form.

At the end of the three-year study, researchers found that 4th and 5th grade students enrolled in the Berkley Unified School District “School Lunch Initiative,” a curriculum that included gardening, cooking and nutrition had significantly better eating habits than students that did not get the same instruction.  Basically, kids enrolled in the School Lunch Initiative:

  • Know more about nutrition;
  • Younger students have a higher preference for fruits and vegetables;
  • Middle school kids have more positive attitudes about school food, fresh produce and the environment;
  • Younger students are eating more fruits and vegetables by at least one serving; and
  • Continued exposure in middle school may sustain fruit and vegetable intake.

The study also found that:

  • More than 50% of families say they eat together, but less than 30% involve kids in the meal preparation process; and
  • Parents with kids in the rigorous School Lunch Initiative program were twice as likely to say that the program affects their child’s eating habits.

Wouldn’t it be really exciting to see a similar study done for school garden programs in Hawaii?