270978 Marshall NEP: Effectiveness of Interns in Changing the Dietary Behaviors during K-12 Formative Years

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kelli Williams, PhD, RD, LD , Dietetics, Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Charles Hossler, RN, PhD , College of Health Professions (COHP), Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Mary Kathryn Gould, EdD, RD, LD , Dietetics, Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Timothy Bender, PhD, RD, LD , Nutirtion Education Program Director, Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Jana Hovland, MS, RD, LD , Dietetics, Marshall University, Huntington, WV
One of the most common chronic childhood diseases is obesity affecting more than 17 percent of US children. Most alarming is obesity among children 6 to 11 years old, which has almost tripled since 1980. In WV 28% of 6-11 year olds are obese. Little is being done in these formative years to successfully affect change. Current approaches to decreasing childhood obesity in rural Appalachia have failed. The Marshall Nutrition Education Program encourages better nutrition through early education utilizing interns and registered dietitians to deliver a clear message regarding nutrition and health. Changes made during early years are likely to carry over into adulthood and reduce the overwhelming burden to society that obesity related diseases perpetuate. Ten dietetic interns and 2 registered dietitians deliver 9 lessons in nutrition over a 9 week span to children in K-12 WV public schools. Effectiveness is assessed through pre/post testing, teacher focus groups, and teacher observation questionnaires. Each lesson is delivered as a part of the normal class curriculum. Children among schools where curriculum is delivered by interns saw the most change in food related behaviors such as trying new foods, increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables, and food safety. Among the very early school-aged children schools, programs that utilize interns to deliver information regarding dietary changes may be more effective in changing children's behaviors related to food choices and food safety. Additional studies should be conducted to test this theory.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
Compare effectiveness of changing dietary choices among early elementary students using interns versus dietitians.

Keywords: Obesity, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a registered dietitian and Assistant Professor of Dietetics at Marshall University. I have extensive experience with developing and assessing nutrition education in schools as the former Ohio Director of the FoodMASTER (Food Math and Science Teaching Enhancement Resource) Initiative. I assist with the evaluation of Marshall University's Nutrition Education Program (SNAP-Ed programming).
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.