5310.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 8:50 PM

Abstract #10274

Inter Tribal Council of Arizona WIC Program Initial Staff Assessment on Perceptions of the Childhood Obesity Prevention Program

Douglas L. Taren, PhD1, Mindy Tomkins, RD2, Karen Sell, RD2, and Stephanie Carroll1. (1) College of Public Health, University of Arizona, 1612 E. Mabel Street, P.O. Box 245163, Tucson, AZ 85724, 520-626-7908, taren@u.arizona.edu, (2) WIC Program, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, 2214 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

The USDA has launched WIC demonstration programs to assist in the prevention of childhood obesity. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA) is 1 of 5 State Agencies funded for this program. As part of an initial assessment, we conducted 4 focus groups with WIC Directors (n=8), Nutritionists (n=4), and Staff (n=10) to elicit perceptions on (1) the causes of obesity, (2) WICís role in the prevention or and counseling childhood obesity, and (3) other community organizationsí roles in preventing childhood obesity. WIC Directors and Nutritionists identified two themes: (1) that there is not a strong perception by WIC participants that overweight and obesity are problems in young children and (2) overall changes are needed in how WIC supports and counsels on feeding and activity patterns by children. WIC Staff members identified three themes: (1) perceptions about what is healthy, (2) perceptions about parenting skills needing to be upgraded, including resistance to obesity counseling, and (3) the need for overall change in how WIC counsels and supports feeding and activity patterns of children. The common themes across focus groups concentrated on the role of parenting and childhood obesity, the need to increase WICís capacity to treat and counsel on childhood obesity, and the integration of WIC with other community-wide prevention efforts. When creating an intervention for ITCAís WIC program, all major themes discussed by the focus groups need to be considered. These focus groups also provided a solid base for and give direction to further community assessment efforts.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session the participant will be able to: 1. Identify primary issues by WIC staff regarding the Prevention of Childhood Obesity Program. 2. Determine commonalities betweeen WIC directors and WIC staff on barriers to counseling on childhood obesity. 3. Recognize potential points of intervention

Keywords: Obesity, WIC

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA