Gimme 5

Program Title Gimme 5
Purpose School-based program designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. (2000)
Program Focus Behavior Modification
Population Focus School Children
Topic Diet/Nutrition
Age Children (0-10 years)
Gender Female, Male
Race/Ethnicity Black, not of Hispanic or Latino origin, White, not of Hispanic or Latino origin
Setting School-based
Origination United States
Funded by NCI (Grant number(s): CA61596)
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The Need

Nutrition experts recommend daily consumption of at least five servings of fruits, juices, and vegetables (FJV). However, research indicates that children's consumption of FJV is well below this level, at approximately two servings per day. Programs that can change children's food preferences and habits hold promise to decrease chronic disease and promote proactive lifestyle behaviors that continue into adulthood.

The Program

The program is a school-based, multi-component intervention to increase FJV consumption among fourth- and fifth-grade students. The Gimme 5 curriculum and related activities address common barriers to eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, namely, low availability of FJV in children's homes, especially lower income homes; not liking vegetables; and not knowing how to make FJV dishes. The fourth-grade curriculum targets vegetable intake and the fifth-grade curriculum emphasizes fruit, juice, and vegetable consumption to achieve five servings of FJV per day.

Community Preventive Services Task Force Finding
Guide to Community Preventive Services This program uses the following intervention approach for which the Community Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence: school-based programs promoting nutrition and physical activity (Diet/Nutrition). Insufficient evidence means the available studies do not provide sufficient evidence to determine if the intervention is or is not effective. This does not mean that the intervention does not work. It means that additional research is needed to determine whether the intervention is effective.

Time Required

Both 4th- and 5th-grade curricula include 12 sessions, 45-55 minutes per session.

Intended Audience

Participants were fourth- and fifth-graders from elementary schools in a major southeastern metropolitan area and a southeastern suburb; 15% were African American and 85% were White.

Suitable Settings

This intervention is intended for school implementation.

Required Resources

The Gimme 5 curricula for 4th and 5th grades, which include transparencies, handouts, worksheets, posters, and newsletters, are required. Multiple videos for each grade are also required for school and home viewing. In addition, school food service staff is required to prepare FJV recipes throughout the intervention. For the study, teachers attended a 6-hour workshop once a year and local grocery stores participated in a "point-of-purchase" education where produce managers presented participating families with tips for selecting, storing, and preparing inexpensive FJV.  Costs associated with the program's implementation are not provided.

About the Study

Fourth- and fifth-graders from 16 schools, 4 from a major southeastern metropolitan area and 12 from a neighboring suburb, were matched on variables such as size and socioeconomic status. Schools were randomly assigned within pairs to the intervention group, Gimme 5, or to a control group. Students in the treatment group received the 6-week, grade appropriate, Gimme 5 curriculum. Based on social cognitive theory, fourth and fifth graders were encouraged and assisted to eat more FJV, enhance their preference for FJV, prepare FJV snacks, set goals to increase consumption, and problem-solve in cases where FJV consumption goals were not attained. Students were measured at baseline, during intervention, and post intervention, which included a 7-day food record kept by students.

Results indicated:

  • At post intervention, students in the intervention group, Gimme 5, reported higher consumption of all vegetables and of fruit, juice, and vegetables combined, compared to students in the control group. Increases in consumption were greatest for those students, who at baseline, reported the fewest FJV servings (+0.47 and +0.82 servings for control and intervention respectively).
    Graph of Study Results
  • Gimme 5 appeared to mitigate a decline in FJV consumption as students in the control group reported a substantial decrease in weekday lunch FJV consumption compared to students in the intervention group.
  • Students in the intervention group reported higher rates of requesting someone in their family to increase FJV availability and accessibility.
  • Students in the intervention group increased their awareness of the recommended number of FJV servings, understanding of goal setting as it relates to FJV consumption, and strategies for adding FJVs to their diet.
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Updated: 04/20/2016