Nutrition Education as a Community-Based Healthcare Intervention in St. Livingston, CA

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YuxiZhang, Jingtao Liu, Fengchun Yang

Abstract

Childhood obesity has been documented to yield school absenteeism and high drop-out rates, psychological problems associated with self-esteem and the quality of the children’s life, parental absenteeism in workplaces due to pressure to attend to their obese children in health care settings, and high cost of health care. The main objective of this project was to conduct a nutrition education intervention with the intention of sensitizing parents to school-aged children about the importance of making informed food choices or nutritional diets. The target setting was in Livingston, with Guru Nanak Sikh Temple selected as an ideal physical location. Other participating groups included school representatives or administrators, community representatives, health care providers and practitioners, and leaders from other social institutions. Major challenges included linguistic constraints due to the multicultural nature of Livingston, financial barriers, and health record complexity in which sections of reports indicated childhood obesity arising from causes unrelated to food choices; suggesting that parents to these children would be excluded to avoid compromising the scope of the study. Upon project completion, findings revealed that the engagement of low-income parents in designing, developing, and evaluating childhood obesity prevention programs that are family-centered promises more fruitful outcomes. The implication for health care authorities in Livingstone is that such initiatives should be facilitated to assure desirable food choices in school environments and home settings to aid in preventing obesity, which proves to be costly to families and the region’s general economy.

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