Fruit and Vegetable MarketTeen Battle Chef, a component of the HealthCorps in-school “Living Labs” program, used cooking and nutrition education to promote positive behavioral change among New York City youth.

Researchers studied the impact of the Teen Battle Chef program, a high school based program that teaches culinary skills, which was implemented by HealthCorps into the curriculum at 14 high schools, where 176 students participated in it. Forty students who didn’t take the program served as a comparison group.

The researchers found when compared to controls, the Teen Battle Chef group:

  • Were more likely to report increased energy and consume more fruits and vegetables and were less likely to drink soda.
  • Showed increased overall dietary quality and experienced greater improvement in their ability to discuss the value of local foods.
  • Had higher average SAT scores and their school attendance rate was 95 percent, versus 86 percent for the overall school population.

This study offers strong evidence that Teen Battle Chef, a component of the HealthCorps Living Labs program, helps youth develop leadership, teamwork, culinary skills, nutrition knowledge, improved academic performance and participation and more, the authors said.

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