University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Tracking the Use of Free Produce Coupons Given to Families and the Impact on Children’s Consumption

Sydney Chinchanachokchai, PhD; Eric M. Jamelske, PhD; Deborah Owens, PhD

WMJ. 2017;116(1):40-43.

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Background: American children typically eat fewer fruits and vegetables than recommended by guidelines. This study examines whether free coupons can increase children’s fruit and vegetable intake at home.

Methods: Families of the participating students received weekly coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables over a 1-month period. Pretest and posttest surveys were conducted to measure change in consumption. Each survey consisted of 3 consecutive days of self-reported dietary recall of each student’s fruit and vegetable intake for dinner.

Results: Coupon redemption across the 4-week study was 27.3%. There was evidence of increased vegetable consumption, but not fruit consumption.

Conclusions: We identified successes and challenges that can guide practitioners, policymakers, and other academic researchers in future endeavors to meet this goal.

Author Affilations: University of Akron (Chinchanachokchai, Owens); University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Jamelske).
Corresponding Author: Eric M. Jamelske, PhD, 105 Garfield Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54702; phone 715.836.3254; e-mail
Acknowledgments: We would like to recognize Tyler Christiansen, Lainee Hoffman, Stephanie Mabrey, Kevin Reinhold, April Ross, Laurelyn (Wieseman) Sandkamp, and Aaron Wingad for excellent work as undergraduate research assistants. We would also like to extend a special thank you to Dr. William J. Klish for his insightful suggestions, Dr. Pipat Thontirawong for his help with data analysis, and the teachers and administrators in the 2 participating schools and the staff at the 7 participating grocery stores.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
Funding Support: Funding support was provided from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
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