2022 HEALTH CARE EDITION
Dell Medical study focuses on access to produce
Delving into diet
A four-week study performed by Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin looked at how children’s diets changed when provided with healthy food options.
BY JENNIFER SCHAEFER
resources they could use as they wanted based on their priorities.” The randomized clinical trial, published in JAMA Network Open, was led by Dell Med’s Factor Health initiative and funded by a grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, according to the release. Every week for four weeks, caregivers were given 10-pound boxes of fruits and vegetables at BGCAA sites and $10 gift cards for HEB. “These families were already part of our Club on the Go program, which was launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jenn Barnes, director of club operations at the BGCAA. “Inte- grating the food box and gift card delivery into their regular site visit eliminated the burden and inconvenience of making an additional trip to pick them up.” At four- and eight-week intervals, researchers assessed child and caregiver diets using the Texas School Physical Activity and Nutrition tool, which was developed by the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, according to the release. They observed that, on average, children ate healthier foods two additional times per day, com- pared with the control group, and healthy eating behaviors continued after the program ended after a followup at eight weeks after the study began.
A new study from Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, which was published May 27, found that providing caregivers with easy access to produce and exible resources can lead to improvements in their kids’ diets in a short time, according to a release from the school. The two-group randomized clinical trial was conducted from May-July 2021. Researchers began by oering food and grocery store gift cards to caregivers enrolled in an existing curbside program managed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area, according to the release. In the randomized clinical trial, caregivers were given 10 pounds of produce and a $10 HEB gift card every week for four weeks. The team’s aim was to access what impact providing caregivers with the healthy food would have on their ability to adjust their children’s diets, according to the release. “We know that people in general, including kids, do not consume the daily recommended amount of fruits and veggies,” said Dr. Maninder “Mini” Kahlon, director and founder of Factor Health, in a release. “We wanted to see if we could support caregivers in improving their child’s diet through easy access to fresh produce as well as exible
provided a 10-lb. box of weekly fruits and vegetables and a $10 grocery gift card
provided no food
This chart shows the increase in the healthfulness in diet of the test group over eight weeks.
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*Baseline scores for each group were measured using the 2019-2020 Texas School Physical Activity and Nutrition tool, which measures the number of times food items were eaten over the prior day.
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