Date of Graduation

8-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Glenda Revelle

Committee Member

Mechelle Bailey

Second Committee Member

Vernoice Baldwin

Third Committee Member

Jennifer Henk

Abstract

This research looked at the potential impact that parent education may have on the feeding practices of parents of young children. Since eating behaviors are a national concern for both children and adults, it's important to examine how we can create not just healthier children but, as a result, healthier adults. This study utilized an intervention that was an adapted version of a healthy eating curriculum created by Sesame Workshop and the California WIC association with the intention of improving parental feeding practices through a behavior-based approach. Previous research with this curriculum has addressed only low-income populations, with a relatively long-term (6 months) intervention. The current study examined the effects of a relatively short-term (one month) intervention on the feeding behaviors of a middle-class, highly educated sample. This intervention implemented in this study was found to significantly increase positive parental feeding practices -- specifically, parental involvement in encouraging balanced and varied diets for children, creating healthy environments and access to healthy foods, and behaviors supportive of child control. This intervention also led to an increased variety of fruits consumed as well as an increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by the families involved.

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