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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Outcome evaluation of Family Eats: An eight-session web-based program promoting healthy home food environments and dietary behaviors for African American families

Author
item Cullen, Karen - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item Chen, Tzu - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Health Education and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/18/2016
Publication Date: 5/19/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62551
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Thompson, D.J., Chen, T.A. 2016. Outcome evaluation of Family Eats: An eight-session web-based program promoting healthy home food environments and dietary behaviors for African American families. Health Education and Behavior. doi: 10.1177/1090198116643917.

Interpretive Summary: An 8-session web-based program for African American families with 8- to 12-year-old children (Family Eats) was designed to promote a healthy home food environment. An evaluation of the program with 126 families showed parent menu planning skills were significantly higher for the intervention group six months after the end of the program. Significant positive changes overtime were noted for home fruit/vegetable availability, food preparation practices, and healthy restaurant selection. There were high log on rates - 86%. All participants reported liking the program components; all but one gave it an A or B grade. Future research with Family Eats should include larger sample sizes, with longer follow-up and a more objective measure of diet.

Technical Abstract: This article presents the results of a randomized clinical trial evaluating the eight-session Family Eats web-based intervention promoting healthy home food environments for African American families. African American families (n=126) with 8- to 12-year-old children completed online baseline questionnaires and were randomized into intervention or control groups. Data collection occurred at baseline, immediately post intervention (Post 1), and 4 months later (Post 2), for parents and children, separately. There were two group by time intervention effects: Control group parents reported a significantly greater frequency of drinking 100% fruit juice at Post 1 compared with intervention group parents. Parent menu planning skills were significantly higher at Post 2 for the intervention group compared with the control group. Significant positive changes overtime were noted for both groups for home fruit/vegetable availability, food preparation practices, and healthy restaurant selection. Intervention group children reported a significant increase in home juice availability at Post 1 compared with the control group; home fruit availability improved for both groups. There was no difference in log on rates by group: 84% and 86% for those who completed Post 1 and Post 2 measurements, respectively. Sixty-four participants completed the evaluation survey: 17 control (50%) and 47 intervention (51%) participants. All participants reported liking the program components; all but one gave it an A or B grade. An Internet-delivered nutrition intervention for families was successful in achieving change in some mediating variables, with good log on rates. Future research with Family Eats should include larger sample sizes, with longer follow-up and a more objective measure of diet.