by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
For the last few years, schools have created and maintained vegetable gardens on school premises. While there is nothing inherently troubling about a school garden, some have claimed that it can be used to combat childhood obesity. In 2017, research published a report in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior made such a claim.
According to Retraction Watch, researchers are pushing back.
According to [dean of the school of public health at Indiana University Bloomington David] Allison, the authors simply can’t make the claim that the program had an effect on kids’ BMI based on their analysis. For instance, if researchers placed signs on one college campus encouraging people to walk more, and compared behavior to another campus that lacked those signs, they could say the signs were associated with an increase in walking among students. But they couldn’t argue the signs caused the healthy behavior without adding more campuses, Allison explained, which helps eliminate local factors that could independently influence the results.
So far, the authors of the study have not issued a correction or retraction.