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Nutrients, Vol. 14, Pages 93: Improving Willingness to Try Fruits and Vegetables and Gross Motor Skills in Preschool Children in Guam

Nutrients doi: 10.3390/nu14010093

Authors:
Tanisha F. Aflague
Grazyna Badowski
Hyett Sanchez
Dwight Sablan
Catherine M. Schroeder
Eloise Sanchez
Rachael T. Leon Guerrero

Early childhood interventions have the potential to promote long-term healthy eating and physical activity habits to prevent obesity. However, research studies including indigenous young children are lacking. This study examined the effectiveness of the Food Friends®: Fun with New Foods™ and Get Movin’ with Mighty Moves™ (FFMM) curricula on willingness to try fruits and vegetables (FV) and gross motor (GM) skills among preschoolers in Guam. A pre-post community-based study included preschoolers from Head Start (HS), gifted and talented education (Pre-GATE), and Pre-Kindergarten programs during school years (SY) 2017–2018 and 2018–2019. In SY2017–2018, the intervention group had a significant increase in imported FV when compared with the other three groups. No significant differences between groups were found on the other FV scales. Regarding gross motor skills, no significant differences between groups were found. In SY2018–2019, the intervention group had a significant increase in all FV scales except imported FV when compared with the enhanced intervention group. With gross motor skills, no significant differences were found between groups on its progress. These results warrant FFMM adaptations for the prevention of obesity among Guam preschoolers.

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