A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of a Home-Delivered Food Box on Children’s Diet Quality in the Chickasaw Nation Packed Promise Project

A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of a Home-Delivered Food Box on Children’s Diet Quality in the Chickasaw Nation Packed Promise Project

Published: Jan 01, 2021
Publisher: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 121, issue 1, supplement
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Authors

Ronette Briefel

Vivian Gabor

Background

Poor diet quality among children can lead to poor health, development, and academic achievement. Child nutrition assistance programs aim to improve diet quality among children.

Objective

This study tested the impact of the Packed Promise intervention on diet quality among low-income children in Chickasaw Nation territory.

Design

This study was a cluster randomized controlled trial of 40 school districts and 4,750 eligible, consented households within treatment and control districts.

Participants/Setting

Household data were collected at baseline (n = 2,859) and follow-up (n = 2,852) in 12 rural Oklahoma counties.

Intervention

Packed Promise treatment households chose from 5 types of home-delivered food boxes that contained nutritious foods ($38 food value) and a $15 check for purchasing fruits and vegetables.

Main Outcome Measures

Key outcomes included children’s daily consumed amounts of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and added sugars collected by a dietary screener questionnaire. Other outcomes included food shopping frequency, type of grocery store used, distance traveled from home to grocery stores, and the number of weekly family dinners. All outcomes in this article are secondary to the study’s primary outcome—food insecurity among children.

Statistical Analyses Performed

Differences between the treatment and control groups were estimated by a regression model controlling for baseline characteristics and population-based average portion sizes.

Results

Children’s mean daily consumption of fruits and vegetables combined was about 2.35-cup equivalents in the treatment group and 2.25-cup equivalents in the control group (P < 0.001). Mean consumption of whole grains was 0.73-ounce equivalents in the treatment group compared with 0.67-ounce equivalents in the control group (P < 0.001). Other outcomes were not statistically significant.

Conclusion

Packed Promise led to significant but small improvements in children’s daily consumption of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Several factors, including household participation levels in Packed Promise, may have moderated the size of impacts.

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