Title: Creating Healthy Home Eating Environments: Results from Formative Research Authors
Submitted to: Society for Behavioral Medicine
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2005
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Citation: Thompson, D., Cullen, K., Lara-Smalling, A. 2006. Creating healthy home eating environments: results from formative research [abstract]. In: Society for Behavioral Medicine 27th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions Final Program Book, March 22-25, 2006, San Francisco, California. p. 79. Technical Abstract: The federal Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) provides nutrition education classes to limited-resource families. This study was conducted to inform a new obesity prevention EFNEP component to help families create healthy home food environments. Two formative research studies were conducted at 3 Texas EFNEP sites: a questionnaire (149 clients; 85% Hispanic, 7% African-American) assessing family nutrition problems/barriers to healthy eating, and preferred educational methods; and 9 focus groups (3/city; 55 clients, 90% Hispanic) assessing child/family healthy eating barriers/solutions and preferred educational methods. Questionnaire results revealed concerns about excessive sweetened beverage, fatty/sugary food, and unhealthy snack food consumption and low fruit/vegetable consumption. The major barrier was the difficulty of changing family eating habits. Interactive educational methods were preferred. Focus group results provided similar information. Results were used to develop 6 videos, featuring multi-ethnic participants discussing family food problems elicited from the formative assessment, along with possible solutions and food parenting tips. A video intermission allows for class discussion of possible solutions, with clients setting 6 weekly goals related to the video content. A randomized clinical trial with Texas EFNEP clients with young children in three cities will begin in 2006. The intervention is unique in that it will be integrated into an existing successful community program working with an at-risk population. Providing evidence that a short video, with problem solving, family goal setting, and parenting tips related to food is effective in changing behavior could be a practical tool to influence weight management with several generations simultaneously.