Completed Project

Community-based Nutrition Research

Sugary Drink Consumption

Sugar sweetened or sugary beverage consumption and over consumption of 100% juice add unneeded calories to diets of young children, potentially leading to overweight. As children’s diets are extensions of their parents’ behavior, we proposed the implementation of a nutrition education intervention based on the Information-Motivation-Behavior theoretical mode for behavior change. Parents were the primary agent of change. This integrated projects goals were to: 1) evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention for reducing sugary drink consumption in minority preschool children from low-resource families (research), 2) evaluate the integration of this research-based program in nutrition education activities (extension), and 3) enhance undergraduate cultural competency through a service-learning program (education).

The research originally proposed using a randomized control group design involving 20 parents of 3-5 year old children at each of 20 early childcare sites or a sample size of 400. Four hundred and eight four parents at 22 sites actually participated. Each site was randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions: a ten-week educational program for either sugary drinks or home food safety (the sham control). Demographics, measures of the understanding of sugar-sweetened beverages, (Beverage Questionnaire), a home food beverage inventory, food security, child-feeding practices, weekend child food intake, and both parent and child height and weight were collected. Undergraduate students delivered an interactive educational program two afternoons per week at pick-up time for ten weeks at each site. Please see the links on the right for more detail on design, instruments, and publications from this study.