Abstracts Winter 2010

December 2010, Vol. 15, No. 3 
ISSN 1540 5273

Nutrition and Physical Activity Recommendations and Tools for Obesity Prevention in Preschool-aged Children

Sherri Cirignano Rutgers University


Obesity prevention programming that focuses on preschool-aged children is important due to the continued high rates of overweight and obesity in this population. This review provides a compilation of nutrition and physical activity recommendations and tools for community nutrition educators and clinical nutrition professionals to utilize in prevention or counseling efforts with preschoolers. Topics addressed include obesity prevalence, contributing factors to obesity, and nutrition and physical activity recommendations from the following: the preliminary report of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Association for Sports and Physical Education. Tools for implementation are also included from MyPyramid for Preschoolers and the Food and Nutrition Service Core Nutrition Messages. Full Text

The Reaching New Parents Project: The Impact of a FACS Extension Resource Guide on New Mothers

Ted G. Futris, H. Marissa Stone, University of Georgia


As budgets continue to decrease are printed parent educational materials a sensible use of resources? Findings from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension reveal promising results. Outcomes from an evaluation of a 12-article resource guide for new parents showed high levels of readership, understanding, application, and adjustment to the parental role. Overall, mothers rated the resource positively and as a helpful source of information. Magazine-style resource guides like this may be a cost-effective means of reaching new parents. Full Text

Client-driven tools: Improving evaluation for low-literate adults and teens while capturing better outcomes

Margaret Johns, University of California, Marilyn S. Townsend University of California, Davis.


Cooperative Extension (CE) programs are now asked to do more than just increase client’s knowledge. Educational materials and programs are currently designed to change attitude, skill and behavior. Capturing impacts needed to demonstrate these changes are very difficult when working with low-literate audiences. Clientele for CE programs are often reading at 4th-6th grade levels with new adult immigrants reading at Grades 1 or 2 or lower. Consequently, collecting evaluation data to demonstrate impact is difficult. This paper outlines the theories and steps involved in improving the ability of evaluation tools to more accurately capture existing behavior change among low-literate participants of CE programs. Full Text

Qualitative Evidence of the Disconnect Between Intent and Interpretation of Common Child Obesity Prevention Messages

Madeleine Sigman-Grant, University of Nevada, Hilary Strom and Kaye Stanek Krogstrand, University of Nebraska, Beth H. Olson, Michigan State University, Heidi WengreenUtah State University, Amy R. Mobley, Purdue University


Health professionals disseminate obesity prevention messages regarding food selection, eating, and physical activity behaviors, based on varying levels of evidence. However, little is known about whether or not parents understand the connection between these messages and a child’s weight. A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the understanding of selected child obesity prevention messages by 44 low-income mothers of children aged 4-10 years. Mothers were asked to report perceptions of how each targeted behavior might prevent children from becoming obese. Six states used a single recruitment strategy, interview tool, and protocol using a card sort activity with projective interviewing techniques. Targeted behaviors included eating together as a family, limiting sedentary activities, restricting access to food, portion sizes, eating out, choosing healthful foods, sweetened beverage intake, and eating breakfast daily. Some flawed maternal interpretations emerged regarding perceived relationship of messages to weight status. Examples include family meals lead to overeating; playing video games keep children from snacking; and confusion regarding food restriction. Thus, health professionals need to evaluate messages to ensure they are being correctly interpreted by low-income mothers of young children. Full Text

Health at Every Size Programs Decrease Worry about Weight and Refocus Attention on Positive Attributes

Allison Nichols, Brenda Porter, Terrill Peck, Kerri Wade and Guen Brown, West Virginia University


A group of county-based educators conducted a study to examine the impact of participation in a “health at every size” program. Two tools were used to collect pre- and post-data: the A New You assessment tool developed by “WIN the Rockies, WIN Wyoming,” at the University of Wyoming, Cooperative Extension Service and a validated assessment tool entitled “The Body Shape Questionnaire” (Evans and Dolan, 1993). A “A New You: Health for Every Body” workshop was conducted in each of eight rural counties with 98 individuals with 96.7 percent of participants female and 41.8 percent high school educated or less. Participants ranged in age from 30 to 60 years of age and their ages were evenly distributed by decade. Data was collected on the first and last day of eight 10-week sessions. Analyses showed that the program (1) decreases worry about one’s body size and shape (body image) and (2) creates a shift from preoccupation with body size to a focus on one’s positive attributes. Participant comments illustrate the findings. Recommendations are offered for further research and improved practice.Full Text




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