Background: Pediatric obesity is a significant health problem affecting 41 million children under the age of five in the United States, with African-American and Latino children being disproportionately affected. Obesity often leads to chronic disease and has contributed to escalating healthcare expenses in the United States. Early interventions targeted at parents are a piece of the solution to this complex problem.
Methods: This pilot study evaluated the impact of a community-based nutrition education program ("My Plate for My Family, developed by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) on parents' (N=16) self-efficacy to make healthy choices for their families. An urban preschool in Southwest CT was used as the community partner.
Results: Although there was no statistical difference in the pre and post-test scores, items specific to drinks, fruits and protein, as well as cost, demonstrated small increases in parental self-efficacy.
Conclusions: With the emphasis being placed on including children in the learning process to create healthy lifestyles, implementing community-based health education programs for parents at the child's school seems ideal. Future recommendations would include suggesting health care practitioners consider the advantages of working together with early childhood education centers as strategic partners in the fight against pediatric obesity.
Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education
Sullivan, Kelly and Alicea-Planas, Jessica, "Community based health education to decrease pediatric obesity" (2016). Nursing and Health Studies Faculty Publications. 191.
Sullivan, K. & Planas, JA. (2016). Community based health education to decrease pediatric obesity. Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education, 6 (6), 1-4. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000489.