Research

Research puzzle pieces.

In addition to being a source for educational materials and professional development opportunities, the Center for Nutrition in Schools (CNS) is committed to conducting research to evaluate nutrition education strategies and resources. Research articles and other publications found here provided the foundation for curriculum, Nutrition Education Competencies, and other materials developed by CNS.

Selected Reports

Below are Child Nutrition-related reports written by UC Davis CNS researchers.

Selected Articles

Below are Child Nutrition-related articles written by UC Davis CNS researchers.

2020

  • Ruiz LD, Zuelch ML, Dimitratos SM, and Scherr RE. Adolescent Obesity: Diet Quality, Psychosocial Health, and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors. Nutrients. 2019 Dec 23;12(1). pii: E43. [PubMed]

2019

  • Fetter DS, Dharmar M, Lawry-Hall S, Pressman JM, Chapman J, and Scherr, RE. The Influence of Gain-Framed and Loss-Framed Health Messages on Nutrition and Physical Activity Knowledge. GPH. 2019 June [SAGE].
  • Taylor JC, Sutter C, Ontai L, Nishina A, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Comparisons of school and home-packed lunches for fruit and vegetable dietary behaviours among school-aged youths. Public Health Nutr. 2019 Feb. [Public Health Nutr]

2018

  • Beccarelli LM, Scherr RE, Newman JW, Borkowska AK, Dharmar M, Gray IJ, Linnell JD, Keen CL, and Young HM. Associations Among Fatty Acids, Desaturase and Elongase, and Insulin Resistance in Children. JACN. 37(1), 44-50. [PubMed]
  • Bergman JJ, Linnell JD, Scherr RE, Ginsburg DC, Brian KM, Carter R, Donohue SS, Klisch S, Lawry-Hall S, Pressman J, Soule K, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Feasibility of Implementing a School Nutrition Intervention That Addresses Policies, Systems, and Environment. JOE. 2018. 56(1): 1FEA [Joe]
  • Fetter DS, Scherr RE, Linnell JD, Dharmar M, Schaefer SE, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Effect of the Shaping Healthy Choices Program, a Multicomponent, School-Based Nutrition Intervention, on Physical Activity Intensity. J Am Coll Nutr. 2018 Aug;37(6):472-478. [PubMed]
  • Linnell JD, Smith MH, Scherr RE, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Building the Capacity of Classroom Teachers as Extenders of Nutrition Education through Extension: Evaluating a Professional Development Model. JHSE. 2018. 6(1): 58-75.  [JHSE]
  • Ruiz LD and Scherr RE. Risk of Energy Drink Consumption to Adolescent Health. AJLM. 2019.13(1) 22-25. [SAGE]
  • Sutter C, Taylor JC, Nishina A, and Ontai L. Parental and family predictors of fruits and vegetables in elementary school children's home-packed lunches across a school week. Appetite. 2018 Dec. [ScienceDirect]
  • Taylor JC, Sutter C, Nishina A, Ontai L, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Feasibility and reliability of digital imaging for estimating food selection and consumption from students’ packed lunches. Appetite. 2018;120:196-204. [PubMed]

2017

  • Beccarellli L, Scherr RE, Linnell JD, Dharmar, M, Brian K, Ermakov I, Gellermann W, Jahns, L, Keen CL, Miyamoto S, Steinberg F, Young HM, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Using Skin Carotenoids to Assess Dietary Changes in Students After 1 Academic Year of Participating in the Shaping Healthy Choices Program. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2017 Jan;49(1):73-78.e1. [PubMed]
  • Scherr RE, Cunningham B, Graham D, Jahns L, Laugero K, Lora K, Reicks M, and Mobley A. Innovative Techniques for Evaluating Behavioral Nutrition Interventions.  Adv Nutr. 2017. 8(1)113-125. [Oxford]
  • Scherr RE, Dharmar M,  Linnell J, Smith MH, Briggs M, Bergman J, Brian K, Feenstra G, Hillhouse JC, Keen CL, Beccarelli LM, Ontai LL, Schaefer SE, Spezzano T, Steinberg FM, Sutter C, Young HM, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. A Multicomponent, School-Based Intervention, the Shaping Healthy Choices Program, Improves Nutrition-Related Outcomes. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2017. 49(5)368-379.e1. [ScienceDirect]
  • Taylor JC, Scherr RE, Feenstra G, Linnell JD, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Impact of a multicomponent, school-based nutrition intervention on students’ lunchtime fruit and vegetable availability and intake: A pilot study evaluating the Shaping Healthy Choices Program. JHEN. 2017. [Tandfonline]

2016

  • Amin SA, Yon BA, Taylor JC, Johnson RK. Fruit and vegetable consumption in schools: Amin et al. respond. Public Health Rep. 2016;131: 227-28. [PubMed]
  • Linnell JD, Smith MH, Briggs M, Brian KM, Scherr RE, Dharmar M, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Evaluating the Relationships Among Teacher Characteristics, Implementation Factors, and Student Outcomes of Children Participating in an Experiential School-Based Nutrition Program. Pedagogy Health Promot. 2016. [Sage]
  • Linnell JD, Zidenberg-Cherr S, Briggs M, Scherr RE, Brian KM, Hillhouse C, and Smith MH. Using a Systematic Approach and Theoretical Framework to Design a Curriculum for the Shaping Healthy Choices Program. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2016 Jan;48(1):60-69.e1. [PubMed]
  • Yon BA, Amin SA, Taylor JC, and Johnson RK. School Nutrition Directors' Perspectives on Preparing for and Implementing USDA's New School Meal Regulations. J Child Nutr Manag. 2016; 40 (1).  [ERIC]

2015

  • Amin SA, Yon BA, Taylor JC, and Johnson RK. Impact of the National School Lunch Program on Fruit and Vegetable Selection in Northeastern Elementary Schoolchildren, 2012-2013. Public Health Rep. 2015 Sep-Oct;130(5):453-7. [PubMed]
  • Jones AM, Lamp C, Neelon M, Nicholson Y, Schneider C, Wooten Swanson P, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Reliability and Validity of Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire for Adults. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015 Jan; 47(1): 69-74. [JNEB]
  • Jones AM and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Exploring nutrition education resources and barriers, and nutrition knowledge in teachers in California. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015 Mar-Apr;47(2):162-9. [PubMed]
  • Nguyen L, Scherr RE, Linnell JD, Nicholson Y, Spezzano T, Brian K, Ermakov I, Gellermann W, Keen CL, Miyamoto S, Smith MH, Steinberg F, Young HM, and Zidenberg-Cherr, S. Evaluating the relationship between plasma and skin carotenoids and reported dietary intake in elementary school children to assess fruit and vegetable intake. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2015 Apr 15;572:73-80. [PubMed]
  • Sutter C, Nishina A, Scherr RE, Zidenberg-Cherr S, and Ontai LL. Sharing, Trading, Stealing: Exploring the Role of Peers in Shaping Foods Available at Lunchtime. J Early Adolescence. January 2015. [Sage]

2014

  • Amin SA, Yon BA, Taylor JC, and Johnson RK. When Fruits and Vegetables Are Optional, Elementary School Children Choose Processed over Whole Offerings. J Child Nutr and Mgmt. 2014;38(1). [SchoolNutrition]
  • Scherr RE, Linnell JD, Smith MH, Briggs M, Bergman J, Brian KM, Dharmar M, Feenstra G, Hillhouse C, Keen CL, Nguyen LM, Nicholson Y, Ontai L, Schaefer SE, Spezzano T, Steinberg FM, Sutter C, Wright JE, Young HM, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. The Shaping Healthy Choices Program: design and implementation methodologies for a multicomponent, school-based nutrition education intervention.  J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014 Nov-Dec;46(6):e13-21. [PubMed]
  • Taylor JC, Yon BA, and Johnson RK. Reliability and validity of digital imaging as a measure of schoolchildren's fruit and vegetable consumption. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Sep;114(9):1359-66. [PubMed]

2013

  • Jones AM, Punia M, Young S, Chase C, Zidenberg-Cherr S. Training Needs of Staff Employed in Programs Participating in the National School Lunch Program in California. J Child Nutr and Mgmt. 2013; 37(1). [SchoolNutrition]
  • Scherr R, Cox R, Feenstra G, Zidenberg-Cherr S. Integrating local agriculture into nutrition programs can benefit children's health. Calif Agr. January-March 2013. 67(1):30-37. [CalAg]
  • Taylor JC, Johnson RK. Farm to School as a strategy to increase children's fruit and vegetable consumption in the United States: Research and recommendations. Nutrition Bulletin. 2013;38:70-79. [Researchgate]

2011

  • Scherr RE, Briggs M, Reed H, and Zidenberg-Cherr S.  Development and Evaluation of Nutrition Education Competencies and a Competency-Based Resource Guide for Preschool-Aged Children.  J Child Nutr and Mgmt. 2011; 35(2). [SchoolNutrition]

2009

  • Hazzard EL, Heneman K, Junge SK, Zidenberg-Cherr S. An Evaluation of the 2nd Grade Eating Healthy from Farm to Fork Curriculum. J Nutr Ed Behav. 2009 July-August; S35-S36. [JNEB]

2008

  • Heneman K, Junge SK, Zidenberg-Cherr S. Reading across My Pyramid, a Nutrition and Health Education Curriculum, Increases the Health Behavior Knowledge of Lower Elementary Students. J Child Nutr and Mgmt. 2008; 32(1). [ERIC]
  • Schneider JM, Fujii ML, Lamp CL, Lönnerdal B, Dewey KG, Zidenberg-Cherr S. The use of multiple logistic regression to identify risk factors associated with anemia and iron deficiency in a convenience sample of 12-36-mo-old children from low-income families. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):614-20. [PubMed]

2007

  • Schneider JM, Fujii ML, Lamp CL, Lönnerdal B, Zidenberg-Cherr S.The prevalence of low serum zinc and copper levels and dietary habits associated with serum zinc and copper in 12- to 36-month-old children from low-income families at risk for iron deficiency. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Nov;107(11):1924-9. [PubMed]

2006

  • Kirkpatrick N, Briggs M, Zidenberg-Cherr S. Teachers' Attitudes Regarding the Integration of Nutrition into the School Curriculum. J Nutr Ed Behav. 2006 Sept; 38 (4), S52. [JNEB]

2005

  • Graham H, Beall DL, Lussier M, McLaughlin P, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Use of school gardens in academic instruction. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2005 May-Jun;37(3):147-51. [PubMed]
  • Graham and Zidenberg-Cherr S. California teachers perceive school gardens as an effective nutritional tool to promote healthful eating habits. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Nov;105(11):1797-800. [PubMed]
  • Heneman K, Joy AB, Zidenberg-Cherr S, Donohue S, Garcia L, Martin A, Metz D, Smith D, West E, Steinberg FM. A “Contract for Change” Increases Produce Consumption in Low-Income Women: A Pilot Study. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Nov; 105(11), 1793-1796. [ScienceDirect]
  • Schneider JM, Fujii ML, Lamp CL, Lönnerdal B, Dewey KG, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Anemia, iron deficiency, and iron deficiency anemia among 12- to 36-month old children from low-income families. Am J Clin Nutr. Dec 2005;82(6):1269-1275. [NWICA]

2003

  • Briggs M, S. Safaii, et al. Position of the American Dietetic Association, Society for Nutrition Education, and American School Food Service Association--Nutrition services: an essential component of comprehensive school health programs. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 April: 103(4): 505-14. [ScienceDirect]

2002

  • Morris JL, Briggs M, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Development and Evaluation of a Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Curriculum for Elementary Schoolchildren. J Child Nutr and Mgmt 2002: 26(2). [J Child Nutr and Mgmt]
  • Morris JL, Koumjian KL, Briggs M, and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Nutrition to grow on: a garden-enhanced nutrition education curriculum for upper-elementary schoolchildren. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2002 May-Jun;34(3):175-6. [PubMed]
  • Morris JL and Zidenberg-Cherr S. Garden-enhanced nutrition curriculum improves fourth-grade school children's knowledge of nutrition and preferences for some vegetables. J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Jan;102(1):91-3. [JAND]

Selected Dissertations

Below are selected dissertations written by UC Davis CNS researchers.

  • Beccarelli, L. (2016). Using Skin Carotenoids to Evaluate Dietary Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Exploring Lipid Biomarkers to Evaluate Health and Disease Risk in Elementary School Children. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Linnell, J. (2015). Investigating Factors that Influence the Effectiveness of School-Based Nutrition Education Programs to Improve Children’s Health. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Bergman, J. (2014). Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Create Sustainable Healthy School Environments and Promote Positive Behavior Changes in School-Aged Children. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Jones, A. (2013). Nutrition Knowledge and Training Needs in the School Environment. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Scherr, R. (2011). Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Nutrition Education Competencies and a Competency-Based Resource Guide for Preschool-Aged Children. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Briggs, M. (2010). Development of an Integrative Approach for Use in School Communities to Improve Children’s Nutrition and Health. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Hazzard, E.L. (2010). Utilization of Garden-Based Education to Positively Impact Children’s Nutrition Knowledge and Behaviors. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Ly, C. (2008). Evaluation of the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Project. UC Davis Master’s Thesis.
  • Cena, E. (2007). Folate Intake, Food-Related Behaviors, and Nutrition Education in Low-Income Women of Childbearing Age. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Kirkpatrick, N. (2006). The Nutrition Competencies for California’s Children Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Tarry, S. (2004). Evaluation of a Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education Program in Lee Vining, California. UC Davis Master’s Thesis.
  • Graham, H. (2004). The School Environment: Possibilities for the Promotion of Child Health. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Cesario Heneman, K. (2004). Promotion of Plant Based Foods to Reduce Risk of Chronic Disease. UC Davis Ph.D. Dissertation.
  • Koumijan, K. (2000). The Development and Assessment of a Parent Questionnaire as a Supplement to a Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Program for Elementary Aged School Children. UC Davis Master’s Thesis.
  • Morris, JL. (2000). The Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Program for Elementary School Children. UC Davis Ph. D. Dissertation.

External Resources 

On our External Resources page we provide links to external sites with content that may be of use to individuals seeking information about curriculum related to nutrition in schools.