Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the evidence base of the Food Dudes healthy eating programme, specifically the short- and long-term effectiveness of the intervention for consumption of fruit and vegetables both at school and at home and displacement of unhealthy snack consumption.
Design/methodology/approach – Articles were identified using Academic Search Complete, PsycARTICLES, Medline and PubMed databases keywords for the period January 1995 to August 2013. Articles were included if they reported an empirical evaluation of the Food Dudes programme aimed at children aged between 4-11 years. Articles were included regardless of geographical location and publication type (i.e. published and “grey” literature).
Findings – Six articles were included for review. Findings indicated that the programme was moderately effective in the short term; however, the long-term effectiveness of the programme is unknown. The ability of the programme to generalise to the home setting and to displace unhealthy snack foods also requires further investigation.
Originality/value – This is the first independent review of the Food Dudes programme. In light of the extensive roll out of the Food Dudes programme, an appraisal of the evidence surrounding the programme is timely. The review highlights that sustaining fruit and vegetable intake cannot be achieved through behaviour-based interventions alone and the long-term maintenance of fruit and vegetable consumption requires more than the implementation of an intervention found to be effective in a controlled research environment.