Evaluating the impact of the Veggie Van program in underserved communities on youths' dietary intake

The Foundation's program, Healthy Eating Research: Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity, was designed to support investigator-initiated research to identify and assess environmental and policy influences with the greatest potential to improve healthy eating and weight patterns among the nation's children.This study will evaluate an intervention delivered by community partners, the "Veggie Van" mobile market, a van service that sells weekly boxes of reduced-cost, fresh, North Carolina-grown fruits and vegetables and provides nutrition education, taste testing, and cooking demonstrations. Specific aims of the study are to: (1) determine the impact of the Veggie Van on children's diets by measuring parent-reported child intake of fruits, vegetables, and added sugars at home via multi-pass, 24-hour dietary recalls as well as parent reported child attitudes toward consuming fresh fruits and vegetables; (2) analyze the mechanisms by which the Veggie Van affects children's diets using Veggie Van purchasing data and grocery store receipts for each child's household; and (3) assess parents' self-reported home food offerings and preparation practices and their self-efficacy re: preparing and serving fresh fruits and vegetables. Researchers will use a randomized controlled trial design with 12 sites (e.g., child care centers, lower-income housing, churches) located in lower-income or low food access areas (6 intervention, 6 control). Data will be collected from approximately 180 parents with a child aged 3-10 (15 at each site). Deliverables will include peer-reviewed publications, presentations at national conferences, and a report of findings for community partners.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $100,000.00

Awarded on: 12/13/2012

Time frame: 1/1/2013 - 6/30/2015

Grant Number: 70602


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

1700 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Campus Box 7426
Chapel Hill, 27599-7426


Lucia A. Leone
Project Director