What are the effects of multi-component compared to single-component nutrition education interventions on children’s dietary intake-related behaviors?
There is inconsistent evidence to suggest that multi-component nutrition education interventions may be more effective for improving children’s and adolescents’ dietary intake-related behaviors than single-component interventions. Limited evidence also suggests that multi-component nutrition education interventions that combine classroom nutrition education with a hands-on educational component may be particularly effective.
III – Limited
1. Conduct research designed specifically to test which components, when combined, create effective multi-component nutrition education interventions, and how best to tailor the components for specific subject populations. This may be accomplished using statistical modeling and/or component analyses. This research should also consider the feasibility and affordability of implementing multi-component interventions. Conduct more research to explore the validity of measurement instruments for use in children and adolescents (e.g., single vs. multiple 24-hour recalls, plate waste estimates, FFQ, lunchroom observation). This includes instruments used to measure dietary-intake related outcomes, as well those that measure compliance with, participation, or fidelity intervention. Rationale: The research included in this review was not explicitly designed to test the effects of specific components alone and within a multi-component intervention. In order to determine which combinations of components are most effective for changing children’s and adolescents’ dietary intake-related behaviors, more carefully designed trials are needed, or statistical modeling and/or component analyses need to be undertaken. In addition, it is unclear whether certain populations would benefit more from different multi-component interventions, and therefore, more research is needed to determine which multi-component interventions would work best for specific populations (e.g., based on age, gender). Finally, more research would help determine whether differences in study results may be due to study design, outcomes assessed, or measurement techniques. More research would also help determine whether differences in study results may be due to measurement techniques. In addition, use of validated measurement instruments would aid in understanding how well certain components of a multi-component interventions were implemented and adopted. This information would be useful in determining which components are most effective, as well as in determining the feasibility and affordability of such interventions. 2. Research to determine whether certain outcomes (e.g., fruit and vegetable, whole grain, sugar sweetened beverage, and nutrient intake) are differentially affected by certain types of interventions. Rationale: More research would help determine whether differences in study results may be due to the outcomes being targeted.