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Internet helps ensure mother knows best when it comes to preventing childhood obesity
Date:11/5/2013

Never underestimate the power of Mom when it comes to influencing children's health.

University of Cincinnati research explains how motherly influence could be even more effective when supported by Web-based parent education programs.

Adam Knowlden, a former doctoral student at UC and current assistant professor in the University of Alabama's Health Science Department, hopes his research can better prepare moms to keep their kids from joining the rising ranks of America's obese children.

"Addressing this problem of childhood obesity needs to start in the home environment and preferably with children at younger ages," Knowlden says. "This research shows the Web is an effective way to help some parents. It's something that should be capitalized on from a public health perspective."

Knowlden will present his team's research "Impact Evaluation of the Enabling Mothers to Prevent Pediatric Obesity Through Web-Based Education and Reciprocal Determinism (EMPOWER) Intervention" at the American Public Health Association's (APHA) 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition. This year's event, titled "Think Global, Act Local: Best Practices Around the World," will be held Nov. 2-6 in Boston. The meeting typically draws more than 13,000 health professionals each year. The APHA supports efforts to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States.

Knowlden's novel EMPOWER intervention used a Web-based delivery method to help mothers better understand four behaviors associated with childhood obesity: consumption of fruits and vegetables; physical activity; consumption of sugary beverages; and screen time.

Mothers in the pilot study used special software to access the content of the EMPOWER program. Through the Internet, mothers were given healthy recipes, strategies for grocery shopping, techniques for better communicating w
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Contact: Tom Robinette
tom.robinette@uc.edu
513-556-1825
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert  

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