Impact of school gardens in Nepal: a cluster randomised controlled trial

This study evaluates the combined impact of school gardens linked to complementary lessons and promotional activities about gardening and nutrition on the nutritional awareness, knowledge, perceptions, eating behaviour and nutritional status of 10- to 15-year-old schoolchildren in Nepal. We used a cluster randomised controlled trial design to collect data from 30 schools and a sample of 1275 and 785 schoolchildren for the 2014 and 2015 school years, respectively. After one year of intervention, we found a significant (p < 0.01) increase in children’s awareness about fruit and vegetables, their knowledge about sustainable agriculture, their knowledge about food, nutrition and health and their stated preferences for eating fruit and vegetables. However, these improvements in intermediary outcomes did not translate into significant improvements in fruit and vegetable consumption or nutritional status. To influence children’s food decisions, it may be required to work more intensively with parents and to increase the availability of fruit and vegetables at the household and community level.

Pepijn Schreinemachers, Dhruba Raj Bhattarai, Giri Dhari Subedi, Tej Prasad Acharya, Hsiao-pu Chen, Ray-yu Yang, Narayan Kaji Kashichhawa, Upendra Dhungana, Gregory C. Luther and Maureen Mecozzi. 2016. Impact and cost-effectiveness of women’s training in home gardening and nutrition in Bangladesh. JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT EFFECTIVENESS.