Fuel For Learning: The Effects of a Childhood Obesity and Stress Prevention Program on the Parents of Participating Children
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Human Nutrition Honors Theses; 2011
Americans are overweight and incredibly stressed and there is no indication of this being reversed. The obesity epidemic in this country continues to escalate rapidly. Both children and adults are suffering the physical and mental effects of this crisis. Fuel For Learning (FFL) is an eight week nutrition and stress prevention intervention targeted primarily at third graders in order to give them the skills necessary to make healthy choices for themselves. The program focuses on nutrition, yoga movement, and stress prevention while meeting selected third grade education standards so that it fits into the school curriculum.. These topics and associated activities are presented in DVD format and classroom teachers function as the program facilitators. One of the most influential forces in the lives of children is their parents, especially at a young age. Parents who practice good health habits are not only benefiting themselves, but also setting an example for their children. For this reason, it is crucial that both the parents and children be educated about these topics. Parents of participating students were given educational handouts that outline the lesson that the children learned that week along with specific, practical advice for adults. This study was a non-equivalent, wait list control study. It evaluated the impact that this program had on parents/caregivers’ selected food behaviors and dietary habits, stage of change for ten selected health behaviors, and the level of perceived stress. Demographic data was also collected. Fifty-six parents participated in the study. Parents’ food behaviors changed significantly for one of the thirteen selected food behaviors, their stage of change improved significantly for two of the ten selected health behaviors, and there was no observable change in parents’ level of perceived stress following the intervention.
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