Design and methodology of the LA Sprouts nutrition, cooking and gardening program for Latino youth
A randomized controlled intervention
Martinez, L. C., Gatto, N. M., Spruijt-Metz, D., & Davis, J. N. (2015). Design and methodology of the LA Sprouts nutrition, cooking and gardening program for Latino youth: A randomized controlled intervention. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 42, 219-227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2015.04.008
OBJECTIVE: The LA Sprouts 12-week nutrition, cooking and gardening intervention targets obesity reduction in Latino children. While other gardening and nutrition programs are shown to improve dietary intake, LA Sprouts is unique in that it utilized a curriculum demonstrated to decrease obesity. This methodology paper outlines the design and processes of the LA Sprouts study, and discusses key strategies employed to foster successful implementation of the program.
SETTING: After-school program in four Los Angeles elementary schools.
SUBJECTS: 3rd-5th grade students.
DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial. Gardens were built on two of four school campuses, and the 90-minute weekly lessons focused on strategies to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, gardening at school and home, and cooking healthy meals/snacks. Data collection was conducted pre- and post-intervention and included basic clinical and anthropometric measures, dietary intake and psychosocial constructs measured by questionnaire, and an optional fasting blood draw.
RESULTS: Baseline data was collected from 364 children, and 320 (88%) completed follow-up. No participants withdrew from the program (data were missing for other reasons). Intervention students attended 9.7 ± 2.3 lessons. Fasting blood samples were collected on 169 children at baseline, and 113 (67%) at follow-up. Questionnaire scales had good internal consistency (IC) and intra-rater reliability (IRR; in child scales: 88% items with IC > 0.7 and 70% items with IRR > 0.50; in parent scales: 75% items with IC > 0.7).
CONCLUSIONS: The intervention was successfully implemented in the schools and scales appear appropriate to evaluate psychosocial constructs relevant to a gardening intervention.