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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: The impact of goal attainment on behavioral and mediating variables among low income women participating in an Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program intervention study

Authors
item Cullen, Karen -
item THOMPSON, DEBORAH
item Scott, Amanda -
item Lara-Smalling, Agueda -
item Watson, Kathleen -
item Konzelmann, Karen -

Submitted to: Appetite
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 29, 2010
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Thompson, D.J., Scott, A.R., Lara-Smalling, A., Watson, K.B., Konzelmann, K. 2010. The impact of goal attainment on behavioral and mediating variables among low income women participating in an Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program intervention study. Appetite. 55(2):305-310.

Interpretive Summary: Nutrition education programs often ask participants to select goals to improve diet. This study assessed whether those women who achieved their goals had improved behaviors and skills related to healthy food in the home. This study was conducted with women who attended the 6-week Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). The class participants received a goal sheet after each class. The 1-2 goals per class were related to the class content. Participants were asked to try to meet each goal and return the goal sheet at the next class, reporting whether they met the goal. Whether each participant met the goal, and their behaviors and skills related to healthy food in the home improved were measured after the 6-week program and 4 months later. Two hundred forty three women completed all three measurements. Those who reported achieving more goals, reported greater skills related to a healthy home food environment, compared to women who did not achieve their goals. Immediately after the program, those who met more goals reported consuming less whole milk. Achieving goals was related to some intervention outcomes in this group. Goal setting and achievement appear to help participants in nutrition education programs.

Technical Abstract: This study examined the relationships between participant goal attainment, and changes in mediating variables, and food choice outcomes from a modified curriculum for the Texas Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), promoting healthy home food environments and parenting skills related to obesity prevention. EFNEP participants in 54 intervention classes received a goal sheet after each of 6 classes. Participants recorded goal attainment and returned at the next class. Diet and mediating variables were measured at baseline, immediate post, and 4 months later. Mixed model regression analysis over time assessed whether goal attainment was associated with the outcomes at post or follow-up, controlling for baseline assessment. Participants who reported attaining more goals reported greater self-efficacy for planning/encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption and making fruit and vegetables available, menu planning skills, improvement in the food preparation practices and higher home availability for regular vegetables. At post, those who reported attaining more fiber, vegetable, and water goals reported consuming more of these items. Goal attainment was related to some changes in food choice and mediating variables in an at risk population. Further research into the use and efficacy of goal setting and attainment in this population is warranted.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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