Impact of a school-based food garden on attitudes and identification skills regarding vegetables and fruit : a 12-month intervention trial

Somerset, Shawn & Markwell, Katherine (2009) Impact of a school-based food garden on attitudes and identification skills regarding vegetables and fruit : a 12-month intervention trial. Public Health Nutrition, 12(2), pp. 214-221.

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To determine changes in ability to identify specific vegetables and fruits, and attitudes towards vegetables and fruit, associated with the introduction of a school-based food garden.


A 12-month intervention trial using a historical control (control n 132, intervention n 120), class-based, self-administered questionnaires requiring one-word answers and 3-point Likert scale responses.


A state primary school (grades 4 to 7) in a low socio-economic area of Brisbane, Australia.


The introduction of a school-based food garden, including the funding of a teacher coordinator for 11 h/week to facilitate integration of garden activities into the curriculum.

Main outcome measures

Ability to identify a series of vegetables and fruits, attitudes towards vegetables and fruit.


Frequency distributions for each item were generated and χ2 analyses were used to determine statistical significance. Exploratory factor analysis was employed to detect major trends in data.


The intervention led to enhanced ability to identify individual vegetables and fruits, greater attention to origins of produce (garden-grown and fresh), changes to perceived consumption of vegetables and fruits, and enhanced confidence in preparing fruit and vegetable snacks, but decreased interest in trying new fruits.


The introduction of this school-based food garden was associated with skill and attitudinal changes conducive to enhancing vegetable and fruit consumption. The ways in which such changes might impact on dietary behaviours and intake require further analysis.

Impact and interest:

42 citations in Scopus
27 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 62837
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: fruit, vegetables, food knowledge, schools, community gardening
DOI: 10.1017/S1368980008003327
ISSN: 1475-2727
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100) > Public Nutrition Intervention (111104)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 30 Sep 2013 23:12
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2013 18:35

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