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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: Creating healthful home food environments: Results of a study with participants in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program

Authors
item Cullen, Karen -
item Lara-Smalling, Agueda -
item Thompson, Deborah
item Watson, Kathleen -
item Reed, Debra -
item Konzelmann, Karen -

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2009
Publication Date: November 1, 2009
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Lara-Smalling, A., Thompson, D.J., Watson, K.B., Reed, D., Konzelmann, K. 2009. Creating healthful home food environments: Results of a study with participants in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 41(6):380-388.

Interpretive Summary: Families may not always make healthy food choices. This study evaluated a modified curriculum tested with 100 classes of Texas Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Six short videos, with goal setting, problem solving, guided discussion, and handouts were added to the existing EFNEP class lessons. After the intervention was completed, significant improvements were found for the consumption of most healthy foods and nutrients for both groups, with a small but significant weight loss at the end of the 8-week program for the intervention group only. Both intervention staff and client comments were very positive. Existing EFNEP programs in local communities could have a significant impact on family dietary behaviors for populations at-risk of obesity.

Technical Abstract: Our objective was to evaluate a modified curriculum for the 6-session Texas Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), promoting healthful home food environments and parenting skills related to obesity prevention. We used a two-group randomized control trial: intervention versus usual EFNEP curriculum. Texas EFNEP classes, with 1,104 EFNEP clients in 100 classes. Six short videos, with goal setting, problem solving, guided discussion, and handouts, were incorporated into existing EFNEP classes. We obtained body mass index (BMI), diet, and psychosocial variables with baseline measurements, immediately post, and 4 months later. Using mixed-model repeated measures analysis of variance, 100 classes were randomized (54 intervention/46 comparison), with 1,006 participants at baseline (582 intervention, 424 comparison, 97% women, 89% Hispanic). Significant improvements over time were found for both groups consumption of most food items and nutrients, and nearly all psychosocial variables, regardless of study group. Only the intervention group had a significant BMI decrease at post. Fidelity to the intervention class session structure was high, and comments from intervention staff and clients were positive. Existing EFNEP programs in local communities could have a significant impact on family dietary behaviors for populations at risk of obesity. Replication with similar populations is warranted.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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