246829 Using book clubs to model healthy eating and physical activity in a low-income population: Results from the Be Well book pilot study

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 12:45 PM

Emily Hines, MPH , UTHealth School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, Austin
Tiffni Menendez, MPH , University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, Austin, TX
MeLisa Creamer, MPH , Austin Regional Campus, UT Health School of Public Health, Austin, TX
Stephanie Stroever , Austin Regional Campus, UTHealth School of Public Health, Austin, TX
Nalini Ranjit, PhD , School of Public Health, Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas, Austin Regional Campus, Austin, TX
Deanna Hoelscher, PhD RD LD CNS , Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin, TX
The Be Well Book is a collection of role model stories from diverse American mothers about improving the health of their families through better nutrition and physical activity (PA). We hypothesized that reviewing the book in a group “book club” setting could motivate low-income mothers to make healthy changes in their lifestyles via peer-modeling. METHODS A multi-method pilot study was conducted to determine the effect of reading the book on parents' behavior, intentions, knowledge and self-efficacy for nutrition and PA. Parents (n=54) of children in low-income elementary schools in Austin, Texas were recruited through schools. Control parents (n=33) received the book with instructions to read it independently; the intervention group (n=21) participated in a four-session moderated “book club”. Surveys were administered pre and post intervention; all subjects also participated in focus groups post-intervention. RESULTS Subjects were largely Hispanic (94%), and Spanish-speaking (65%). Most subjects (56%) had not completed high school, and over 75% received government financial assistance. Both study condition and acculturation were associated with changes in behavior, intentions and knowledge. Focus group data suggest that English-speaking subjects found it easier to make diet-related changes whereas Spanish-speaking subjects were better at making PA changes. Preliminary pre-post analyses of survey data suggest enhanced self-efficacy, intentions and some behaviors in the intervention group relative to controls. CONCLUSION A “book club” intervention can induce positive changes in nutrition and PA behaviors compared to receiving the book alone. Further, acculturation affects the magnitude and type of changes observed.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the role of peer modeling in public health promotion. 2. Describe the effect of acculturation on response to health promotions. 3. Recognize the increased effectiveness of guidance and follow-up coupled with the distribution of health promotion materials.

Keywords: Obesity, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed instruments, conducted focus groups and administered surveys, performed data analayis and drafted the abstract for this study.
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.