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Research Project: Preventing the Development of Childhood Obesity

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Changes in toddler diet and activity in a family wellness program: A pilot randomized control trial

item LEDOUX, TRACEY - University Of Houston
item CEPNI, ALIYE - University Of Houston
item TAYLOR, ASHLEY - 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, DAN - University Of Houston

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/7/2021
Publication Date: 6/8/2021
Citation: Ledoux, T., Cepni, A., Taylor, A., Crumbley, C., Thompson, D.J., Moran, N., Olvera, N., O'Connor, D.P. 2021. Changes in toddler diet and activity in a family wellness program: A pilot randomized control trial [abstract]. International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) Annual Conference (Virtual). June 8-10, 2021. Oral presentation.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This study determined the preliminary effect of a wellness playgroup on diet, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and sleep among toddlers. Families with toddlers (12-36 months) were recruited from the community and randomly assigned to receive 10-weekly 90-minute sessions of the Families Understanding Nutrition and Physically Active Lifestyles (FUNPALs) Playgroup, or a health education program, Healthy Toddler Parent Group (HTPG). The FUNPALs Playgroup, was based on Social Cognitive, Family Systems, and Self Determination Theories. Facilitators created a fun environment where parents could learn about positive parenting and toddler health, play with their children, and connect with other families. HTPG included instruction and discussion on diet and activity recommendations for toddlers (children not included). Measures were completed pre (T1) and post program (T2). Snacks and sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) intake were assessed with the Kids Bite Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) (Aquilar et al., 2014). Fruit and vegetable (FV) intake was assessed with the Kids Bite FFQ and with skin carotenoid concentration intensity measured by non-invasive reflection spectroscopy, which is a biomarker of intake of carotenoid rich FV. MVPA and sleep were assessed by 8-day actigraph wGT3x (Pensacola, Florida) accelerometers. Repeated measures ANOVA's tested group differences on diet and activity variables. The sample (n=50) comprised toddlers (Mean age=27 months, 58% males) and parents (Mean age=31.7 years, 84% female), who were Non-Hispanic white (44%), Hispanic/Latino (38%), and/or African American (32%). There was a greater decrease in SSB consumption from T1 to T2 among FUNPALs Playgroup toddlers when compared to HTPG toddlers [Wilk's Lambda=.802, F(1, 36)=8.87, p=.005]. Both groups showed increased skin carotenoid concentrations from T1 to T2 [Wilk's Lambda=.864, F(1, 33)=5.206, p=.029]. Per Cohen (1988), the effect on SSB consumption (partial eta squared=.20) and on skin carotenoid intensity (partial eta squared=.14) represented large effects. There were no effects on snack, MVPA, or sleep. This study provides preliminary evidence that a family wellness playgroup program may have a large positive effect on toddler diet quality.