Influencing healthful food choices in school and home environments: Results from the TEENS study

Leslie A. Lytle, Martha Y. Kubik, Cheryl Perry, Mary Story, Amanda S. Birnbaum, David M. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Background.: The purpose of this research is to examine the effects of an intervention designed to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables and lower fat foods in homes and schools. This research is part of the TEENS study, a school-based intervention study. Methods.: Sixteen schools in Minnesota were recruited to be in the study, and approximately 3600 middle school students in the eight intervention schools were exposed to a multi-component intervention. The TEENS intervention included classroom-based curricula, family newsletters, and changes in the school food environment including increasing more healthful options on a la carte and on the school lunch line. In addition to student-level outcomes, changes in availability of fruits, vegetables, and lower fat snacks in home and school environments were evaluated. The TEENS study was conducted from 1997 to 2000. Results.: Parents of students in intervention schools reported making healthier choices when grocery shopping as compared to parents of students in control schools (P = 0.01). No intervention effects were evident from a home food inventory. Compared to control schools, intervention schools offered (P = 0.04) and sold (P = 0.07) a higher proportion of healthier foods on a la carte, but no effects were seen for fruit and vegetables sales as part of the regular meal pattern lunch. Conclusion.: Our results show mixed results for positively influencing adolescents' school and home environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Adolescents
  • Competitive foods
  • Intervention
  • Middle school environment
  • Parents
  • School food environment


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