171364 Supporting healthy feeding practices among Vietnamese families with young children

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 2:30 PM

Emily Feinberg, ScD, CPNP , Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Anne Hien Bui , Vietnamese American Women's League of Massachusetts, Vietnamese-American Initiative for Development, Dorchester, MA
Thanh Mai T. Nguyen , Department of Maternal and Child Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Emily Elaine Chambers , Department of Maternal and Child Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Hong-Gam Le , Harvard College, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Overweight is emerging as a health concern not previously seen in the Vietnamese population. In the WIC program that serves the largest Vietnamese community in Massachusetts, the prevalence of overweight among children birth to 5 approaches 20%, equal to that of the Black population. Limited knowledge of culturally-specific child feeding practices is a major barrier to providing quality nutrition guidance. In this presentation we will present a project to improve the capacity of community agencies to provide culturally appropriate guidance that supports healthy eating habits in Vietnamese children and families. We developed a multi-level intervention collaboratively with the WIC program, early intervention program, community health center, and civic organizations that serve the community's Vietnamese families. The first component of the intervention used an innovative tool, digital storytelling, to engage the Vietnamese community to share their experiences related to feeding young children. Digital stories, which are brief multimedia narratives combining voice, imagery, and video, have been shown to be a powerful communication tool and give voice to community members who are not otherwise heard. The stories, which will be shown during the presentation, focus on tensions arising from cultural differences in expectations around child growth patterns and self-feeding. The second component of the intervention, developed through key informant interviews with mothers and community members, is a case study that illustrates common views about child feeding. We will discuss culturally-specific explanations of child feeding behaviors, such as “lazy to eat,” “pocketing food,” and “becoming bored with food,” and how families deal with these issues. The final component is a web-based, pictorial guide that introduces health care and community-based service providers to common Vietnamese foods, their nutritional content, and use in traditional cooking. We will present the design for a series of workshops using intervention materials. Models for web-based dissemination will also be presented.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe trends in early childhood anthropometrics among Vietnamese children 2. Articulate 3 concepts that are central to Vietnamese child feeding practices 3. Evaluate the development of an approach to educate health providers about Vietnamese child feeding practices

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: of my work on the Pathways to Culturally Competent Care Project for more than 1 year, and because of my education in public health school.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.