Striking changes in dietary patterns and decreases in physical activity have driven the prevalence of obesity among American children to epidemic proportions;low-income and ethnic minority families are especially vulnerable to the socio-economic barriers that influence obesity, with Latino populations being the most severely affected. The proposed interactive, bilingual children's nutrition education curriculum is uniquely poised to fill the gaps in intergenerational health education and has the capacity to change the paradigm of obesity prevention in underserved, linguistically isolated communities through its attention to the interconnected relationships among the family, community-based care settings, and the powerful weight of national and local media. These layers of influence comprise the social ecological model (SEM), which this proposal utilizes as a framework to explore the linkages among the multiple influences on children's nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Through the concurrent use of interactive, educational media and activities in (i) low-income family homes, (ii) community-based organizations such as Head Start classrooms, and (iii) through public television, the proposed immersive program promises to provide exposure to nutrition education, enhance children's communication abilities regarding health topics, and promote intergenerational communication to foster sustained healthy dietary habits for the entire family.
In recent years, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among American children has reached epidemic proportions and become a prominent public health issue in the United States;moreover, studies have shown that its adverse impacts are particularly salient in Latino communities, which display the highest rates of obesity among any racial/ethnic group. The proposed multi-level intervention is designed to affect behavior change by utilizing media to deliver health education while bolstering communication among children, parents, and community members. Several benefits may result from the effective implementation of this proposal, including (i) the reduction of health disparities among the underserved and/or communities with limited English proficiency, (ii) the elevation of communicative competence in linguistically-discordant families to improve dialogue between adults and their children around health-related issues, and (iii) the establishment of a new and enhanced paradigm for health promotion interventions designed specifically for underserved minority populations.