207072 Parenting issues surrounding food and nutrition among Hmong immigrants in the Central Valley, CA

Monday, November 9, 2009

Susan Donohue, MA, RD , University of California Cooperative Extension, Butte County, Oroville, CA
Patricia Wakimoto, DrPH, RD , Childrens Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA
Anna C. Martin, MS , University of California Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County, Stockton, CA
Connie L. Schneider, PhD, RD , University of California Cooperative Extension, Fresno, CA
Barbara Sutherland, PhD , EFNEP - UC Davis, Davis, CA
Adapting to American culture has led to intergenerational conflict as children are exposed to both American culture and to a more traditional home environment. This conflict has impact on diverse aspects of parenting, ranging from disciplinary issues to preferences for American or traditional Hmong foods. The focus of this study was to conduct formative research to collect data for development of parenting messages related to food, physical activity and overweight prevention in children. While economic and social factors in the United States are encouraging the limitation of family size, it is still very common to have a family size of 6 or more. This presents a unique situation, particularly for the addressing topic areas such as families eating together. Four bilingual, bicultural Hmong moderators were trained to conduct focus groups. Subjects were recruited from agencies serving the Hmong and local churches. Focus groups lasted about an hour and were conducted in Hmong. Forty-six women and men participated in the focus groups. Thirty three were born in Laos, 11 in Thailand and 2 in the U.S. Topics included parents concerns or lack of concern about their overweight children, cultural attitudes towards overweight children, perspective on play or exercise, “good foods, bad foods”, decision making responsibility about food choices and families eating together. The data from these groups was used to help prevent program developers from making inappropriate and insensitive messages, particularly related to overweight or obesity in children. The information collected also provided background and support data for the development of messaging for a video produced for use with a healthy eating curriculum for Hmong families.

Learning Objectives:
Identify issues surrounding food or childhood overweight for Hmong parents. Recognize challenges in developing parenting messaging on food and exercise.

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Patricia Wakimoto
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.

See more of: Maternal and Child Health
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