248938 Empowering youth as change agents for family nutrition though culinary leadership programs

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:42 PM

Jessica Leinwand, BA, MPH Candidate , FamilyCook Productions, new York, NY
Lynn Fredericks , FamilyCook Productions, New York, NY
Judith Wylie-Rosett, EdD, RD , Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Katie Becker, BA, MPA Candidate , Columbia School of Public Health, New York, NY
Jennifer Paulino, BA, MPA candidate , Administration, HealthCorps, New York, NY
INTRODUCTION: Youth empowerment programs have been shown to improve participant health behaviors, however the literature lacks research on any radiating impacts on teen's families. Previous single-site research demonstrated that FamilyCook Production's Teen Battle Chef (TBC) culinary curriculum promotes improved participant eating habits. This multi-site study examines new TBC leadership extension program impacts on teens' health and leadership capacity, and the radiating effect of their participation on their guardians.

METHODS: Pre/post surveys quantitatively measure health attitudes, behaviors and leadership capacity of teens and guardians from 30 programs. Survey questions measure program goals and YRBSS indicators. TBC participants' academic performance and attendance are compared to school averages. Leadership extension participants' results are compared to basic TBC data. Diverse settings' data are compared. Evaluation is conducted using RE-AIM framework.

RESULTS: Prior FamilyCook studies indicate significant increases in healthy eating, skill, self-esteem, and empowerment after TBC. Pilot studies show improvement in academics, and families' cooking and consuming healthy foods at home. This larger-scale study determines whether program effectiveness in these outcomes across multiple diverse program sites. It explores differences between program sites and between original TBC versus TBC with the leadership extension.

DISCUSSION: Significantly improved health and academic achievement would demonstrate the value of empowering culinary education. Indicators that lack positive results will guide redesign. Differences among program types will identify effective implementations that warrant replication. This study advances health behavior change models, paving the way for demonstration projects that reverse outdated parent-centered paradigms and empower teens to build healthier families.

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

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the impacts of culinary youth empowerment programs on the health behaviors and attitudes of participants and their guardians as well as the leadership capacity of the participants. 2. Design robust program evaluation strategies for youth leadership and health promotion interventions. 3. Identify new area for programmatic improvement and public health research in the field of youth empowerment and nutrition education. 4. Determine key factors for empowering teens to impact their academic achievement, health, leadership capacity and the health of their families. 5. Explore the potential for further study of the link between youth culinary programs, and parent health and academic achievement.

Keywords: Adolescents, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have worked as a public health educator for 4 years teaching, writing curricula, training teens and educators and researching in the field of youth development health promotion. I am an MPH candidate at the CUNY School of Public Health and I am the Youth Program Manager for FamilyCook Productions.
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.