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Title: Assessing change in dietary habits among toddlers with a family wellness program: A randomized control trial

item TAYLOR, ASHLEY - University Of Houston
item CEPNI, ALIYE - University Of Houston
item CRUMBLEY, CHRISTINE - University Of Houston
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item MORAN, NANCY - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item OLVERA, NORMA - University Of Houston
item O'CONNOR, DANIEL - University Of Houston
item LEDOUX, TRACEY - University Of Houston

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/10/2019
Publication Date: 1/31/2020
Citation: Taylor, A., Cepni, A., Crumbley, C., Thompson, D.J., Moran, N., Olvera, N., O'Connor, D., Ledoux, T. 2020. Assessing change in dietary habits among toddlers with a family wellness program: A randomized control trial [abstract]. University of Houston HEALTH Research Conference. January 31, 2020; Houston, TX. Poster Presentation.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Poor dietary habits have been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancers. Dietary habits develop in early childhood and track through life. Wellness programs conducted among toddler age children and their parents may reduce the risk of developing serious health problems. Parent-toddler (12-36 months) dyads were recruited from the community and randomly assigned to one of two groups: Experimental Wellness Program: Families Understanding Nutrition and Physically Active Lifestyles (FUNPALs); and Control Program: Healthy Toddler Parent Group (HTPG). Participant characteristics data collection included parent age, toddler age, parent gender, toddler gender, parent race/ethnicity, marital status, education status, employment status, and total household income. Parents completed the Kids Bite Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), a survey that assessed snack, sugar sweetened beverage (SSB), fruit, and vegetable (FV) consumption. Toddler skin carotenoid concentration, a biomarker for FV consumption, was assessed by non-invasive spectroscopy. Toddler height and weight was measured. Toddler weight for length (<24 months) and body mass index (<=24 months) were calculated and adjusted for age and gender via the CDC Growth Chart Calculator to provide weight status percentile. Group differences on FV, SSB and snack consumption were assessed using repeated measures ANOVAs. A time by group interaction effect on toddler SSB intake [lambda=.802, F(1,36)=8.87, p<.01] indicated greater decrease in SSB consumption from T1 to T2 among FUNPALs toddlers when compared to HTPG toddlers. A main effect of time on skin carotenoid concentration [lambda=.864, F(1,33)=5.206, p=.029] was found for both groups. Preliminary evidence suggests that a playgroup wellness program may have a large positive effect on toddler nutritional quality.