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Fruits & Vegetables Gain Following Among Mississippi Kids

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:12pm

Let's hear it for Mississippi -- the state with the highest obesity rates -- for trying out an innovative program to help kids to promote fruit and vegetables, which as we know, can help to decrease our risk for many chronic diseases.

As part of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program in Missisissippi, where, as Reuters reported, 25 secondary schools distributed apples, oranges, and vegetables and then offered nutrition education to support the program.

Sure enough, 8th to 10th graders began to change their attitudes towards fruit and increased their consumption, which had been low in the first place. Meanwhile, students in grade 5 weren't as willing to try out new fruits and veggies.

An editorial in Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggested that distributing fresh fruit at school free of charge to secondary school students "might be an effective component of a comprehensive approach for improving student dietary behaviors; however, distribution of fresh vegetables might be more effective with changes in program implementation. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of this type of program among youths."

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