School and Home Contributions to Dietary Behaviors of Rural Youth

Kent A. Lorenz, Michalis Stylianou, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Hyeonho Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study examined dietary behaviors of rural youth at school and at home and sociodemographic differences. Design: A cross-sectional design was used. Setting: The study took place in five rural schools in the Southwestern US. Sample: Student participants (N = 751) were in 3rd-8th grades. Measures: Consumption of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and soda/pop, at school and at home, were measured using a modified 7-day recall Youth Risk Behavior survey for nutrition instrument (CDC, 2011); Sociodemographic data. Analysis: Descriptive statistics, frequency tables and MANCOVA were used. Results: Following a natural log transformation of the dependent variables, there were significant multivariate effects in dietary behaviors across schools (Wilks’ λ = 0.962, F(16, 2539.4) = 2.05, P = 0.0082) and location (school v. home; Wilks’ λ = 0.849, F(4, 831) = 36.94, P < 0.0001). Follow-up tests showed students in some schools reported higher consumption of fruit, vegetable, and soda at home than school, although most reported consuming less than one serving per day of fruit, vegetables, and dairy across settings. There were no significant main effects for gender/grade/ethnicity across behaviors. Conclusions: Findings highlight poor dietary behaviors of rural youth as well as school/home differences that can help inform efforts to support optimal dietary behaviors of this population. Results should be interpreted considering limitations of the self-report nature of collected data and missing data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-487
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2023


  • children
  • food consumption
  • health
  • nutrition
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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