Many children in the U.S. have poor diets and in fact, 1 in 3 is overweight or obese. Parents struggle to have meals together with children and provide them with nutritious foods. They often rely on convenient and processed foods.
Jayne Fulkerson, associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, has received a $3.2 million research project grant (R01) from the National Institutes of Health for "Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment (HOME) Plus." The study will test the effectiveness of an intervention, called HOME Plus, to prevent excess weight gain in eight- to 12-year-old children. Participating families will learn how to make their home environment more healthful. They will also learn how to create nutritious meals and snacks that all members can enjoy together. And they will be encouraged to reduce children's screen time (television viewing, computer game playing).
Fulkerson will head up an interprofessional team of experienced researchers that includes School of Nursing faculty Martha Kubik and Ann Garwick, along with statistician Olga Gurvich. Other members of the team are School of Public Health faculty Dianne Neumark-Sztainer and Mary Story. Also participating are staff from the University Extension Service.
Families learning from each other
Researchers will recruit 160 families from before- and after-school programs. In the randomized controlled trial, half of the families will participate in the HOME Plus program. The other half will serve as a control group and will receive monthly newsletters. Researchers will follow both groups for two and a half years.
Families participating in the HOME Plus program will meet regularly in small groups at community centers or local churches. The 90-minute sessions will include nutrition education and cooking skills for both parents and kids. The families will also collaborate on cooking a meal, which will be served as a buffet so that
|Contact: Aneisha Tucker|
University of Minnesota