Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #380956

Research Project: Preventing the Development of Childhood Obesity

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Papas Saludables, Ninos Saludables: Perspectives from Hispanic parents and children in a culturally adapted father-focused obesity program

item PEREZ, ORIANA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item BELTRAN, ALICIA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item ISBELL, TASIA - University Of Texas Health Science Center
item GALDAMEZ-CALDERON, EDGAR - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item BARANOWSKI, TOM - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item MORGAN, PHILIP - University Of Newcastle
item O'CONNOR, TERESIA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/14/2020
Publication Date: 12/22/2020
Citation: Perez, O., Beltran, A., Isbell, T., Galdamez-Calderon, E., Baranowski, T., Morgan, P.J., O'Connor, T.M. 2020. Papas Saludables, Ninos Saludables: Perspectives from Hispanic parents and children in a culturally adapted father-focused obesity program. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Interpretive Summary: Hispanic children and adults experience significant health disparities for obesity and associated medical conditions. To date, fathers have been minimally targeted or engaged in efforts to prevent children from developing obesity, despite fathers having important influences on children's physical activity and eating behaviors. One program, Healthy Dads Healthy Kids, has successfully engaged Australian fathers in a weight management program for the men and obesity prevention for their children. This manuscript describes Hispanic fathers', mothers' and children's perspectives after participating in a culturally adapted version of Healthy Dads Healthy Kids, called "Papas Saludables Ninos Saludables" (PSNS). Hispanic fathers and 1-3 of their children between the ages of 5-11 years old participated in the 10-week program that met weekly. Each session was 90 minutes long and included didactic group sessions for dads and kids, as well as physical activity session that dads and kids engaged in together. Mothers were invited to one session and were engaged in a closed Facebook group and sent weekly videos. The program taught fathers healthy weight loss tips for dads, healthy nutrition and physical activity, the importance of father's on their children's health behaviors, along with parenting. At the end of the program, fathers, mothers and children were invited to take part in an exit interview to understand their motivations for participating, experiences in the program, impact of the program, and suggestions for improvement. Twenty-six fathers, 26 mothers and 45 children participated in the interviews in English or Spanish. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, translated if needed and coded by trained research assistance for themes. Overall the program was well received by all the family members. Fathers, mothers and children all reported improved bond between fathers and their child(ren), parents liked the culturally relevant nutrition information, and fathers and children enjoyed the physical activity and games. Some fathers and mothers reported wanting the mothers more involved in the program, others preferred the focus remain on fathers. Some fathers wanted the program to be longer than 90 minutes or longer than 10 weeks. Focusing on familismo (the importance of the family) and promoting father-child relationships were important to engage fathers in the program. Findings from this qualitative study support the feasibility of the PSNS program and for engaging Hispanic fathers for child health promotion.

Technical Abstract: Our objective was to qualitatively assess a culturally adapted lifestyle intervention, Papas Saludables, Ninos Saludables (PSNS; Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids), for Hispanic fathers and children. Semistructured interviews of parents and children were conducted after participation in the 10-week PSNS program for Hispanic fathers and children. Qualitative data were double-coded inductively and deductively until consensus was reached. There was a total of 26 fathers, 26 mothers, and 45 children interviewed. Parents and children had positive feedback about program content on culturally relevant nutrition and physical activity, and reported improved father-child bonding. Mothers noted increased involvement among fathers in child's well-being. Participants suggested lengthening the program. Papas Saludables, Ninos Saludables is an innovative approach with promise in engaging Hispanic fathers and children in a lifestyle program that emphasizes the role of fathers in children's lifestyle behaviors. Familism, respeto (respect), and promoting father-child relationships were important to engage fathers. Results from this study will inform future trials of PSNS and help identify ways to increase engagement of Hispanic men in other programs.