Submitted to: Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2008
Publication Date: 4/9/2008
Citation: Goodell, L.S., Tsuei, E., Hughes, S.O., Nicklas, T.A. 2008. Caregivers' attitudes regarding portion size served to Head Start children [abstract]. Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 22:681.2.
Technical Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify caregivers' attitudes regarding amounts and types of foods served to Head Start preschoolers using qualitative methods. Researchers conducted 8 focus groups (4 African American; 4 Hispanic) with 33 African American and 29 Hispanic Head Start caregivers. Moderator guide questions were based on the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior Model articulated to portion sizes served to Head Start preschoolers. Analysts coded verbatim transcripts for emergent patterns and discrepant data between ethnicities. Caregivers identified child preference, exposure, and pickiness, child age and size, and hunger and the home environment as key influencers on the amounts and types of foods served to Head Start children. Caregivers believed they strongly impact child food consumption through role modeling and verbal encouragement. Using the results from this study, researchers plan to establish how Head Start caregivers' attitudes impact portion sizes and how portion size impacts consumption. Practitioners should be aware of caregivers' attitudes regarding their influence on child food consumption and teach these caregivers appropriate behavior modeling and affirmation techniques.