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 (selected from 78 peer-reviewed publications).

  • Jones, A.M., Zidenberg-Cherr, S. Exploring Nutrition Education Resources and Barriers, and Nutrition Knowledge in Teachers in California. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2015 Mar; 47(2): 162- 169. [PubMed]
  • Jones, A.M., Lamp. C., Neelon, M., Nicholson, Y., Schneider, C., Wooten Swanson, P., Zidenberg-Cherr, S. Reliability and Validity of Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire for Adults. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2015 Jan; 47(1): 69-74. [JNEB]
  • Jones, A.M., Punia, M., Young, S., Chase, C., Zidenberg-Cherr, S. Training Needs of Staff Employed in Programs Participatixng in the National School Lunch Program in California. Journal of Child Nutrition and Management. 2013; 37(1).
  • Taylor JC, Sutter C, Nishina A, Ontai L, Zidenberg-Cherr S. Feasibility and reliability of a digital imaging method for assessment of packed lunches. Appetite, 2018;120:196-204. [PubMed]
  • Taylor JC, Scherr RE, Feenstra G, Linnell JD, Zidenberg-Cherr S. Impact of a multi- component, school-based nutrition intervention on students’ lunchtime fruit and vegetable availability and intake: A pilot study evaluating the Shaping Healthy Choices Program. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 2017 [ePub ahead of print]. [Tandfonline]
  • 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]
  • Yon BA, Amin SA, Taylor JC, 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]
  • Amin SA, Yon BA, Taylor JC, Johnson RK. Impact of the National School Lunch Program on fruit and vegetable selection in Northeastern elementary schoolchildren, 2012-2013. Public Health Rep. 2015;130(5):453-457.
  • Taylor JC, Yon BA, Johnson RK. Digital imaging is a reliable and valid measure of school children’s fruit and vegetable consumption. J Acad Nutr Diet. [PubMed]
  • Amin SA, Yon BA, Taylor JC, Johnson RK. When fruits and vegetables are optional, elementary school children choose processed over whole offerings. J Child Nutr Manag. 2014;38(1).
  • Taylor JC, Johnson RK. Farm to School as a strategy to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption: research and recommendations. Nutrition Bulletin. 2013;38:70-79.
  • Fetter, DS, Scherr, RE*, Linnell, JD, Dharmar, M, Schaefer, SE, and Zidenberg-Cherr, S. Effect of the Shaping Healthy Choices Program, a Multi-Component, School-Based Nutrition Intervention, on Physical Activity Intensity. Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
  • 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. Journal of Extension. 2018. 56(1): 1FEA [Joe]
  • Linnell, JD, Smith, MH, Briggs, M, Scherr, RE, Brian, KM, and Zidenberg-Cherr, S. “Building the Capacity of Classroom Teachers as Extenders of Nutrition Education through Extension: Evaluating a Professional Development Model. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension.” 2018. 6(1): 58-75.  [JHSE]
  • Beccarelli, LM, Scherr, RE* Newman, JW, Borkowska, AK, Dharmar, M, Gray, IJ, Linnell, JD, and Young, HM. Associations between plasma fatty acid composition, estimated desaturase indices, and measures of insulin resistance in 4th and 5th grade children. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 37(1), 44-50. [PubMed]
  • Scherr, R.E., Dharmar, M.  Linnell, J., Smith, M.H., Briggs, M., Bergman, J., Brian, K., Feenstra, G., Hillhouse, J.C., Keen, C.L., Beccarelli, L.M., Ontai, L.L., Schaefer, S.E., Spezzano, T., Steinberg, F.M, Sutter, C., Young, H.M., and Zidenberg-Cherr, S. A Multicomponent, School-Based Intervention, the Shaping Healthy Choices Program, Improves Nutrition-Related Outcomes. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2017. 49(5)368-379.e1. [ScienceDirect]
  • Scherr, RE, Cunningham, B., Graham, D., Jahns, L., Laugero, K., Lora, K., Reicks, M., and Mobley, A.* Innovative techniques for evaluating behavioral nutrition interventions. Advances in Nutrition. 2017. 8(1)113-125. [Oxford]
  • Beccarellli L, Scherr RE*, Linnell JD, Dharmar, M, Brian K, Ermakov I, Gellermann W, Jahns, L, Keen CL, Miyamoto S, Steinberg F, Young HM, Zidenberg-Cherr, S. Using Skin Carotenoids to Assess Dietary Changes in Students After 1 Academic Year Participating in the Shaping Healthy Choices Program. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2017. 49(1)73-78.e1. [PubMed]
  • Linnell, JD, Smith, MH, Briggs, M, Brian, KM, Scherr, RE, Dharmar, M, and Zidenberg-Cherr, S. “Evaluating the relationships between teacher characteristics, implementation factors, and student outcomes among children participating in an experiential school-based program.” Pedagogy in Health Promotion. 2016. [Sage]
  • Linnell, JD., Zidenberg-Cherr, S., Briggs, M., Scherr, R.E., Hillhouse, J.C., Brian, K., and Smith, M.H. Using a Systematic Approach and Theoretical Framework to Design a Curriculum for the Shaping Healthy Choices Program. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 48(1):60-69e1. January-February 2016. [ScienceDirect]
  • Sutter C, Nishina A, Scherr RE, Zidenberg-Cherr S, Ontai LL. Sharing, trading, stealing: Exploring the role of peers in shaping foods available at lunchtime. J Early Adolescence. January 2015. [Sage]
  • Scherr, R.E., Linnell, J., Smith, M.H., Briggs, M., Bergman, J., Brian, K., Dharmar, M., Feenstra, G., Hillhouse, J.C., Keen, C.L., Nguyen, L.M., Nicholson, Y., Ontai, L.L., Schaefer, S.E., Spezzano, T., Steinberg, F.M, Sutter, C., Wright, J.E., Young, H.M., and Zidenberg-Cherr, S. Development and Implementation Methodologies of a Multi-Component, School-Based Nutrition Education Intervention, The Shaping Healthy Choices Program.  Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 46(6):e13-e21. November-December 2014. [PubMed]
  • Scherr, R.E., Cox, R.J., Feenstra, G., and Zidenberg-Cherr, S. Integrating local agriculture with nutrition education to improve the health of Californians: Current status of garden-based nutrition education and farm-to-school programs in California schools and after-school programs. California Agriculture 67(1):30-37. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v067n01p30. January-March 2013. [CalAg]
  • Scherr, R.E., 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.  Journal of Child Nutrition and Management. 35(2). [SchoolNutrition]
  • Linnell, JD., Zidenberg-Cherr, S., Briggs, M., Scherr, R.E., Hillhouse, J.C., Brian, K., and Smith, M.H. Development and pilot-testing of a comprehensive garden-enhanced nutrition curriculum that utilizes evidence-based education and behavior change strategies as a part of the Shaping Healthy Choices Program. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. [SchoolNutrition]
  • 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, Zidenberg-Cherr, S. Evaluating the relationship between plasma and skin carotenoids and reported dietary in elementary school children to assess fruit and vegetable intake.  Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 572:73-80. April 2015. [PubMed]
  • Hazzard EL, Heneman K, Junge SK, Zidenberg-Cherr S. (2009). “An Evaluation of the 2nd Grade Eating Healthy from Farm to Fork Curriculum.” J Nutr Ed Behav S35-S36. [JNEB]
  • Heneman, K., Junge, S.K., Zidenberg-Cherr, S. (2008). “Reading Across My Pyramid, a nutrition and health education curriculum, increases the health behavior knowledge of lower elementary students.” J Child Nutr and Mgmt, 32(1). [SchoolNutrition]
  • Schneider J.M., Fujii M.L., Lamp C.L., Lönnerdal B., Dewey, K.G, and Zidenberg-Cherr, S. (2008). “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 87(3), 614-20. [PubMed]
  • Schneider, J.M., Fujii, M.L., Lamp, C.L., Lönnerdal, B., Zidenberg-Cherr, S. (2007). “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 107(11), 1924-9. [PubMed]
  • Kirkpatrick, N., Briggs, M., Zidenberg-Cherr, S. (2006). “Teachers' Attitudes Regarding the Integration of Nutrition into the School Curriculum.” J Nutr Ed Behav. 38 (4), S52. [JNEB]
  • Heneman, K., Joy, A.B., Zidenberg-Cherr, S., Donohue, S., Garcia, L., Martin, A., Metz, D., Smith, D., West, E., Steinberg, F.M. (2005). “A Contract for Change Increases Produce Consumption in Low-Income women: A Pilot Study”. J Am Diet Assoc 105(11), 1793-1796. [ScienceDirect]
  • Schneider J.M., Fujii M.L., Lamp C.L., Lönnerdal B., Dewey K.G., and Zidenberg-Cherr, S. (2005). Anemia, iron deficiency, and iron deficiency anemia among 12- to 36-month old children from low-income families. Am J Clin Nutr 82(6), 1269-1275. [NWICA]
  • Graham H, Zidenberg-Cherr S. (2005). “California teachers perceive school gardens as an effective nutritional tool to promote healthful eating habits.” J Am Diet Assoc 105(11):1797-800. [PubMed]
  • Graham H, Beall DL, Lussier M, McLaughlin P, Zidenberg-Cherr S. (2005). “Use of school gardens in academic instruction.” J Nutr Educ Behav 37(3):147-51. [PubMed]
  • Briggs, M., S. Safaii, et al. (2003). "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 103(4): 505-14. [ScienceDirect]
  • Morris J.L., Koumjian KL, Briggs M, Zidenberg-Cherr S. (2002). “Nutrition to grow on: a garden-enhanced nutrition education curriculum for upper-elementary schoolchildren. J Nutr Educ Behav 34(3):175-6. [PubMed]
  • Morris J.L., Zidenberg-Cherr S. (2002). “Garden-enhanced nutrition curriculum improves fourth-grade school children's knowledge of nutrition and preferences for some vegetables.” J Am Diet Assoc 102(1):91-3. [JAND]
  • Morris, JL.., Briggs, M., and Zidenberg-Cherr, S. (2002). “Development and evaluation of a garden-enhanced nutrition education curriculum for elementary school children.” J Child Nutr and Mgmt 26(2).

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.