NIFA Poster Abstract| Volume 49, ISSUE 7, SUPPLEMENT 1, S120, July 2017

Clearing the Path to the Prevention of Childhood Obesity: How to Expedite the Track


      To adapt the Abriendo Caminos (AC2) curriculum for families of Hispanic-heritage to include aspects of social cognitive theory proven to be successful in similar interventions (SCT), current nutrition evidence-based research (NEBR), and cultural tailoring from structured focus group and community feedback (CTC).


      AC2 is a multistate, randomized control-intervention program developed to improve nutrition, physical activity, and family interactions. The intervention consisted of two-hour workshops for six weeks, Participants answered a survey before randomized group was assigned. Weight and height were measured by trained personnel.


      We report findings from families recruited in Illinois (n=53), and present changes in a healthy eating adherence index for the key recommendations of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The prevalence of overweight/obesity in participating children (22% / 35%) and adults (37% / 55%) surpasses the national averages. After six weeks, mothers participating in the intervention reported increased consumption low-fat dairy, compared to those in the control group (p<0.05). Examples of adaptations included: SCT-related, dietary self-efficacy implemented through skill building activities, where participants were allowed to serve themselves and practice age-appropriate portion sizes; NEBR-related where replacement of saturated for unsaturated fat in the diet was demonstrated, and CTC-related where information about organic foods was added after participants expressed interest to better understand this topic using examples of traditional Hispanic foods.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Culturally tailored education programs and interventions are urgently needed to not only teach families ways to promote health, but also to increase mothers’ efficacy to prevent and manage obesity in their children.