Submitted to: Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2005
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Thompson, D. 2006. Family eats: a web-based cancer prevention intervention for African-American families [abstract]. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 31:S088(Suppl.). Technical Abstract: Low participation rates for community-based interventions suggest the need for other intervention channels. The internet provides convenience through home access. This study tested the feasibility of an eight-session internet-based parent-targeted intervention for African-American families to promote increased fruit (F), vegetable (V) and low-fat food preferences. Formative assessment was used to develop story lines, characters, web layout and eight photo novellas depicting family issues associated with healthy home food environments. Sixty-seven mother/daughter (8-12 y/o) pairs participated in three successive study waves. Feasibility outcomes were logon rates and changes in diet mediator variables: parent-reported FV/low-fat food preferences/availability, food-related authoritative parenting practices, self efficacy, menu planning, and low-fat food preparation practices. Children completed FV/low-fat food preferences, parent modeling, and food-related authoritative parenting practices questionnaires. Eighty-two percent (55) completed post questionnaires. Overall, the logon rate was 59%. Group 2 had significantly lower logon rates (38%) than Group 1 (65%) or Group 3 (71%). Deleting families who never logged on, logon rates were 74%, 46%, and 71%, respectively. Using paired t-tests, mothers reported significant increases in "menu planning" and "making FV available" self efficacy (both p<0.05), modifying meat/fat practices (p<0.05), healthy restaurant selection (p<0.05), and fruit preference (p<0.001). Daughters reported increased parent modeling of eating fruit (p<0.05). Program evaluations were positive. These results suggest that internet programs featuring photo novellas and emphasizing home-activities are potentially important channels for family-based behavior change programs. Changing mediating variables is a necessary step for dietary behavior change, leading to improved body weight. Attention is needed to achieve high logon rates.