256766 Childhood obesity prevention: Small changes with a big impact

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Angeli Yutuc, BS , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Joyce Kim, BA , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
O. Charis McLarty, BS , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Nicole Molinos, BS , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Elizabeth Holzhauser, MPH, DrPH , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
La'Shaun McClinton, MPH , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Patti Herring, PhD, RN , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Childhood obesity has reached alarming proportions both nationally and locally. Experts report that obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other chronic conditions are appearing with increased frequency in young children. Unhealthy diets and decreased levels of physical activity are the primary contributors to obesity in children. Parents are fundamental to mitigating childhood obesity since they shape the lifestyle and eating habits of their children as well as encourage healthful behaviors. To best inform program development, graduate students conducted a targeted needs and assets assessment (NA+A) at a preschool located in Redlands, CA. Data were collected through windshield surveys, literature reviews, site observations, 9 theory-based semi-structured interviews, and a confirmatory focus group. Data were coded, themed and analyzed using Grounded Theory methods. Emerging themes revealed the need for a program that introduces simple, healthy, inexpensive, time-considerate meals and food alternatives. One common barrier voiced by participants was busy family schedules which will require that changes be easily integrated into families' lifestyles. Other barriers mentioned were: differing parental eating habits, lack of cooking knowledge, children's selective eating habits, and the additional cost of healthy food. The participants were unified in their interest in learning more about healthier nutrition and exercise options for their families. These issues are important at all levels of the community, regardless of ethnicity. We then developed, implemented and evaluated a pilot program using process and impact evaluation for program improvement. Results will be discussed in light of program sustainability.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify five health barriers to healthy nutrition behaviors for families of nursery-aged children. 2. Identify at least two strategies for improving nutritional behaviors among nursery parents and their children. 3. Describe how they would apply the programís lessons learned to their own communities.

Keywords: Obesity, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a graduate student at School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, I have a specific interest in health promotion and education, particularly in obesity prevention for parents and their children. I plan to work and do research in this area after graduation.
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.