Online Program

Healthy plate for a healthy weight: Engaging east harlem restaurants in the campaign against obesity and diabetes

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Natalia Heredia, MPH, Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Michelle Ramos, MPH, Department of Health Evidence and Policy, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Carol R. Horowitz, MD, MPH, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
Ashley Fox, PhD, MA, Department of Health Evidence and Policy, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Carolyn Zezima, JD, Communities IMPACT Diabetes Center, Union Settlement Association, New York, NY
INTRODUCTION: Type 2 diabetes and obesity have continued their upward trend in the U.S., with minority, low-socioeconomic status communities disproportionately affected. In one such community, East Harlem, 33% of individuals are obese and 11% have diabetes. Restaurants provide an ideal intervention point to prevent these diseases, as not only do meals from take-out restaurants often not meet dietary recommendations but also there has been success at influencing customers at point-of-purchase. METHODS: We canvassed East Harlem, NY to identify take-out restaurants eligible to participate in the “Healthy Plate for a Healthy Weight” (HPHW) campaign, which provides take-out customers with free, specially-designed paper plates featuring adapted USDA dietary guidelines. We surveyed customers coming out of the intervention and control restaurants pre- and post-intervention (n=302) to assess knowledge of dietary guidelines, current consumption of fruits and vegetables, portion-size perceptions, and use of the HPHW. RESULTS: There was no change at intervention sites from baseline to follow-up on knowledge of dietary guidelines, fruit and vegetable consumption or portion-size perceptions. Of intervention site customers who had previously received the HPHW, 79% (n=19) used the plate, and of those, 21% (n=4) reported that it affected their eating habits, such as eating smaller portions (75%), eating more fruits (50%), eating more vegetables (100%), following recommendations on plate (75%), and ordering different foods at take-out restaurants (25%). DISCUSSION: HPHW offers a unique dietary intervention for preventing and controlling obesity and diabetes. HPHW has the potential to raise take-out customers' awareness of dietary guidelines and influence healthy eating behaviors.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the relationship between the increased consumption of meals prepared outside of the home and dramatic rise in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes. Analyze restaurants as an ideal location for a point-of-purchase intervention. Describe the Healthy Plate for a Healthy Weight campaign and its impact on customers’ eating habits and knowledge of dietary guidelines.

Keyword(s): Nutrition, Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Program Manager for Communities IMPACT Diabetes Center which implemented the Healthy Plate for a Healthy Weight pilot project. In addition, I have authored and co-authored several manuscripts and presented at multiple local and national conferences on the work of our Center. Moreover, I have over 10 years of experience working in community-based and health disparities research.
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.