Date of Award

5-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Nutrition

Major Professor

Marsha L. Spence

Committee Members

Hollie A. Raynor, Katie F. Kavanagh, Paul C. Erwin

Abstract

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the implementation of social marketing campaign (SMC) aimed at increasing selection and consumption of fruit and vegetable (FV) salad bar items among 3rd-5th grade students in an elementary school setting. Specifically, providing a detailed account of the formative, process, and impact evaluation methods used to evaluate the campaign and its impact on desired changes in behavior. Outcome measures were increases in the selection and consumption of FV salad bar items and changes in mean FV eaten, liking, and preference scores from baseline to post-implementation of the SMC. Formative evaluation was used to gather information to test and strengthen the evaluation measurement tools designed for the study prior to administration and to use preliminary salad bar selection data to assist the school in modifying the salad bar to include healthier options. Process evaluation methods collected information as to the extent to which the SMC was implemented by tracking the dissemination of social marketing techniques selected for use in the campaign and assessing students’ awareness of the implemented techniques. Feedback was provided as a means of continual improvement of the SMC. Impact evaluation methods included the use of a FV survey and plate waste of salad bar items to evaluate the effect of the SMC on desired behavior change. Improvements to the SMC throughout the study, resulted in full implementation of all techniques except for the use of announcements, which were most recognized by students. Further the SMC had limited impact on the outcome measures. The use of multiple evaluation techniques in SMCs should be used to strengthen the components and increase the likelihood that the campaigns will improve behavioral outcomes.

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