Findings from a Pilot-Study: Nutrition Education Tele-Visits to Promote Healthy Dietary Habits among Adolescents

Sabrina Spencer and Christi Arthur



Objectives: The purpose of this project was to assess dietary changes in fruit, vegetable, sugary beverage, and caffeinated beverage intakes among adolescents attending rural public schools who received nutrition education intervention via
Methods: Students 5th-8th grade from six public schools in rural areas of Arkansas voluntarily participated in a tele-visit nutrition education intervention. Students could have participated in up to seven tele-visit sessions over 6-months. Televisits consisted of a 20-minute one-on-one session addressing a specific nutritionrelated topic. A 16-item retrospective questionnaire assessed dietary behaviors after then before intervention. Wilcoxon signed-rank and exact sign tests assessed for significant differences in number of days per week fruits, vegetables, sugary beverages, caffeinated beverages, milk, and water were consumed before and after intervention.
Results: Data from 29 participants revealed a statistically significant (p = 0.03) median increase (+1.00 day/week) in drinking eight glasses of water per day after completion of the intervention (4.00 days/week) compared to before (3.00 days/week). While not statistically significant (p > 0.05), other results indicated participants experienced positive changes in dietary habits, including decreased frequency of soda (41% of participants), and sweet tea (41% of participants) consumption, and increased frequency of fruit (41% of participants) and vegetable (28% of participants) consumption.
Conclusion: While majority of results were not statistically significant, they demonstrated practical relevance among participants through positive changes in dietary habits. Use of tele-visits to reach adolescent populations in rural areas is worth further exploration, as positive changes during this age may have potential to carry-over into adulthood.

Published on: September 15, 2021
doi: 10.17756/jocd.2021-045
Citation: Spencer S, Arthur C. 2021. Findings from a Pilot-Study: Nutrition Education Tele- Visits to Promote Healthy Dietary Habits among Adolescents. J Obes Chronic Dis 5(2):36-41.