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Goals of the Niños Sanos Familia Sana study
Prevalence of overweight and obesity is higher among Latino children, compared to non-Latino white children. Few intervention studies have focused on Mexican origin populations, especially in rural areas. Educators often lack adequate training and culturally-sensitive materials for effective prevention. This project responds to gaps in knowledge, training, and program materials to address this health disparity.
This study had four goals:
- Slow the rate of weight gain among Mexican-heritage intervention children compared to control children;
- Identify factors influencing the effect of economic and educational interventions on child weight gain;
- Design and implement culturally-sensitive nutrition and physical activity curricula to prevent childhood overweight/obesity; and
- Increase the number of culturally-competent undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students in nutrition, agricultural economics, education, and allied health fields.
The study employed a multi-component intervention approach targeting Mexican-heritage children ages 3-8 years in a rural community. UC Davis researchers partnered with the local community and the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources to develop and implement the intervention that lasted three years. The economic component included monthly distribution of vouchers to purchase produce at a local store. The education component included monthly nutrition education classes for parents. Intervention children participated in nutrition education at preschool and elementary schools, assisted by UC CalFresh and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) educators from Fresno County. The children also received an enhanced physical education program at school. For more information, please follow link to study summary on USDA NIFA Portal.
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2011-68001-30167 and Project CA-D*-NTR-2117-H .