Efficacy Through Narrative: A Sweetened Beverage Intervention Involving 5th Graders | 40272
Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy
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The consumption of sweetened beverages has been linked with the childhood obesity epidemic that has afflicted the United
States in the last 30 years. Nevertheless, few studies have been conducted on nutritional education intended primarily to reduce
consumption of sweetened beverages. The purpose of this study was to determine whether reading a narrative based nutritional
story about sweetened beverages designed for fifth graders may result in a reduction in their consumption of sweetened beverages.
Two fifth grade teachers and classes were involved in this study, one as the experimental group and one as the control. A focus
group discussion involving the teachers was used to gather information on their perceptions of student beverage consumption and
to design a pre-intervention beverage consumption survey and a recall beverage log for children in both groups. A children’s story
about sweetened beverages with fill-in-the-blank questions was subsequently created with the intention of educating fifth graders and
promoting self-efficacy. After children in the experimental group read the book, a follow up survey and beverage log were distributed
and analyzed to qualitatively note any changes in beverage consumption and perceptions of the story to better tailor the intervention
for future use in larger classes where statistical significance may be attained. This intervention highlights the difficulties inherent
in conducting research in the elementary school setting as well as ways to address them to increase the possibility of successfully
completed research outcomes.
Roslyn Oakley is currently a Medical student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, MI and a Member of the AOA Honor Medical Society. She has a strong interest in childhood nutrition and literacy.