205576 Curriculum approaches to developmet of youth peer nutrition educator programs

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lynn Fredericks , FamilyCook Productions, New York, NY
Natasha Singh, MS , Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY
Judith Wylie-Rosett, EdD, RD , Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Laura Gagne, MS , Urban Assembly, New York, NY
Studies have suggested that skill-building through hands-on cooking as a nutrition education strategy, is effective to improve overall dietary quality among participants. FamilyCook Productions' Teen Iron Chef curricula using this approach, was piloted in 2008 in a Brooklyn public high school resulting in a 26% improvement in overall dietary quality compared to the control (P=.08; small sample size hindered statistical significance). Additionally students in the program exhibited unexpected leadership development and interest in peer and community education as they conduced cooking demonstrations at neighborhood farmers markets. In 2009, FamilyCook and partner Urban Assembly Schools built on this success, and are attempting to show greater significance through a larger test in 4 NYC public schools.

Program evaluation used the RE-AIM framework and employed both quantitative and qualitative strategies including pre and post program surveys, focus groups, and weekly electronic teacher feedback. Program reach involves 80 program participants in 4 middle and high schools with 80 students in the control group. In addition to overall dietary quality, measured by using dietary intake questions from the CDC Youth Behavioral Risk Survey, a new survey was developed to measure leadership and peer educator potential by participating students. Preliminary results from performance evaluations and teacher focus groups at two of the program schools indicate that students have improved their attitudes about healthful eating, are cooking more from scratch at home, and are encouraging changes in their school and home environment to support these new attitudes. Preliminary opportunities offered to students at two schools to be leaders and peer educators have resulted in formation of a new school policy where program students will cook healthy meals for PTA meetings at a Bronx Middle School and students from a Brooklyn high school are part of the planning team for a citywide NYC Youth Forum & Expo in April 2009. These preliminary findings are consistent with those from the previous year's small pilot group which demonstrated such marked improvements. We anticipate final results in summer 2009 to support these preliminary qualitative measures.

Learning Objectives:
1) Construct the optimal blend of educational strategies to assist youth in shifting to positive attitudes about healthful foods; 2) Develop effective nutrition education programs for youth that build skills and empower them to cook with healthful ingredients for themselves and teach others. 3) Develop a comprehensive evaluation plan utilizing the Re-Aim evaluation framework to ensure building in sustainability potential from the pilot stage.

Keywords: Adolescents, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This paper presents the original work and research of my organization and I have presented and moderated numerous times at APHA.
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.

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