Online Program

Online training program for mothers to prevent childhood obesity

Monday, November 2, 2015

Adam Knowlden, CHES, MBA, MS, Ph.D., Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Background. Enabling Mothers to Prevent Pediatric Obesity Through Web-Based Education and Reciprocal Determinism (EMPOWER) was an online program designed to train mothers to prevent obesity in their children. Mothers of children between 4 and 6 years of age were the intended audience for the materials. Methods. The program emphasized maternal role modeling and promotion of health behaviors known to prevent childhood obesity (fruit and vegetable consumption, sugar-free beverage consumption, increase in physical activity, and reduction in screen time). EMPOWER consisted of five educational modules. Each session of the online program included an audiovisual presentation, an interactive worksheet, and a discussion board post. Each of the five modules incorporated affective, cognitive, and experiential pedagogical approaches to promote maternal-mediated behavior change in children. Module curricula included 15-minute audiovisual presentations as the primary medium of education.  In addition, interactive on-line worksheets and discussion board postings complemented each module.  The interactive worksheets were designed to reinforce the concepts conveyed in the audiovisual presentations.  Strategies for increasing participant confidence in achieving each of the four behaviors were also provided.  Results. Impact evaluation found child behaviors improved significantly at posttest (week 4) and follow-up (week 8). Twelve-month follow-up found treatment effects, though diminished, were still present. Conclusions. Mothers assume an important role in facilitating change in antecedents of childhood obesity and should be a central component for programs targeting the family and home milieu. Practitioners seeking to include parents in childhood obesity prevention programs should consider incorporating web-based delivery of training materials to reduce attrition.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the role of mothers in facilitating changes in antecedents of childhood obesity. Describe the theoretical underpinnings of a program designed to change the family and home environment for prevention of childhood obesity. Evaluate the capacity of an on-line program to train mothers to role model and promote health behaviors in children.

Keyword(s): Maternal and Child Health, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for conceptualizing the program, designing the program, implementing the program, collecting program data, and analyzing program data.
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.