Abstract| Volume 45, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S11-S12, July 2013

Family-based Nutrition Intervention: A Collaborative Approach to Improve Lifestyle Choices in Latinos At-risk for Obesity


      This program provides a unique model for collaboration between EFNEP and pediatric providers to teach Latino families how to adopt a healthy life style through nutrition education.

      Target audience

      Limited-resource Latino children and their families referred to EFNEP by pediatric providers in safety-net clinics.

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      Effective evidence-based strategies and programs are required to address public health issues such as childhood obesity. This intervention program therefore focused on self-efficacy, a component of Bandura’s social cognitive theory where uninsured Latino families were provided an opportunity to increase self-efficacy in making healthy nutrition choices through observational learning.


      Maryland Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program/EFNEP collaborated with clinics using a family-centered approach to provide healthy life style education to Latino children and their families. Clinics identified and referred at-risk children to EFNEP. The intervention consisted of twelve hours of interactive education including nutrition education, cooking, grocery store visits and physical activity.


      Evaluation was based on pre/post-behavior surveys, physical activity, food resource management, and 24-hour diet recall completed by parents. Qualitative assessments included participation rates, retention and feedback from families. Pediatricians recorded children’s body mass index at 1 and 3 months post intervention.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Data shows that the program is successful with improvement in physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption and Healthy Eating Index. Feedback from families indicates satisfaction with the program. Coordination between health care providers and community-based nutrition educators offers a culturally-competent model to address obesity and has the potential for facilitating lasting behavior change and better health outcomes for high-risk children which can be replicated in many communities.