Investigating the Food Detectives: Beecher's Pure Food Kids Workshop-A Program Evaluation
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University of Washington Abstract Investigating the Food Detectives: Beecher's Pure Food Kids Workshop-A Program Evaluation Katherine Doughty Chair of Supervisory Committee: Professor Colleen E Huebner, PhD, MPH Health Services Introduction The Institute of Medicine recommends partnerships between government agencies and outside partners, such as a health care delivery system or public school, as a strategy to meet public health goals. These partnerships, called intersectoral relationships, could strengthen efforts to address health crises, such as childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is a serious public health concern with rates remaining stagnant at 17% according to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Katz and others have explored the importance of nutrition education in solving this crisis. One such nutrition education program, the Beecher's Pure Food Kids (PFK) workshop is administered through Beecher's Flagship Foundation to fourth graders in the Puget Sound area. This interactive 2.5 hour workshop has a curriculum that aligns with Washington State's Common Core learning objectives for students and includes five content areas: recognizing marketing tactics, how to understand a food label, how to decode an ingredient list, improve cooking skills through preparation and recognizing food additives. Methods A formative evaluation of the PFK workshop was conducted to determine if the workshop led to increases in students' knowledge in Common Core learning areas and the Flagship Foundation priorities. Pre and post-workshop quizzes were administered to 206 fourth-grade students in nine classrooms. In addition, teacher evaluations served as another evaluation of program quality and assessed student knowledge gain. Results There were significant gains in knowledge in all areas assessed by the quizzes (p<0.0001). In addition, students reported high levels of satisfaction. Teachers had a similar positive response to the workshop and most planned to repeat the workshop in the next academic year. Discussion The results of this study support this intersectoral relationship as an effective strategy to increase access to quality nutrition education within schools.
- Health services