Exploring food environment-related factors in Norwegian kindergartens and their role in vegetable promotion
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AbstractDespite clear health benefits and recommendations, consumption of vegetables in children remains far too low. Although many studies have focused on increasing vegetable intake by children aged up to 5 years, only a few studies have focused on how to make sustainable and supportive changes in the kindergarten environment to promote vegetable intake. In the present project, we designed, implemented and evaluated the BRA study (an acronym for the Norwegian words Barnehage [kindergarten], gRønnsaker [vegetables] and fAmilie [family]), a kindergarten based intervention to promote and increase vegetable intake of children aged 3-5 years, and to make supportive and sustainable changes in the kindergarten and home environments to promote vegetable intake. Specifically, in this PhD-project, we investigated association of factors in the kindergarten environment with vegetables served and eaten, evaluated the effect of the intervention on vegetables served, and explored associations between workplace climate and culture in the kindergartens and the staff’s food-related practices and vegetables served, and the mediating role of staff’s food-related practices. We found that factors in the economic environment might be important with regard to vegetables served and eaten, as well as some factors in the political environment. Also, some factors in the workplace climate and culture in the kindergarten seemed to be associated with the staff’s food-related practices, and the frequency and variety of vegetables served. Further, the evaluation of the intervention showed that the BRA-study was successful in increasing the variety and amount of vegetables served in the kindergartens. In conclusion, this PhD thesis highlighted several aspects within the kindergarten food environment that can affect the promotion of vegetables to children aged 3-5 years, which should be further investigated to understand how to make sustainable changes in the kindergarten’s food environment.
List of papers
|Paper 1: Himberg-Sundet, A., Kristiansen, A. L., Bjelland, M., Moser, T., Holthe, A., Andersen, L. F. and Lien, N. (2018). Is the environment in the kindergarten associated with the vegetables served and eaten? The BRA study. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 47: 538-547. doi: 10.1177/1403494818756702. The article is included in the thesis. Also available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/1403494818756702|
|Paper 2: Himberg-Sundet, A., Kristiansen, A. L., Andersen, L. F., Bjelland, M. and Lien, N. (2020). Effects of a kindergarten intervention on vegetables served and staff’s food-related practices: results of a cluster randomised controlled trial – the BRA-study. Public Health Nutrition 23(6): 1–10. doi: 10.1017/S1368980019003963. The article is included in the thesis. Also available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980019003963|
|Paper 3: Himberg-Sundet, A., Kristiansen, A. L., Gebremariam, M., Moser, T., Andersen, L. F., Bjelland, M. and Lien, N. (2019). Exploring the workplace climate and culture in relation to staff’s food-related-practices and vegetables served. The BRA-study. PLoS ONE 14(12): e0225831. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225831. The article is included in the thesis. Also available at: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0225831|