Development of peer-led youth theater as a nutrition education tool to promote the healthy traditional Latino diet

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sarah Elizabeth Colby (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Lauren Haldeman

Abstract: "The overall purpose of my research was to develop culturally appropriate nutrition education for Latino immigrants. In phase one, a needs assessment was conducted with the low-income Latina population (N=166) in Guilford County, North Carolina. Seventy-six percent were overweight/obese. Eighty-nine percent were living in food insecure households. Forty percent living in food insecure households with moderate hunger were obese compared to 73% of respondents with severe hunger. Severe food insecurity was related to less positive nutrition beliefs (χ2 (9,N=166)=17.56, p<.05). Forty-five percent had received nutrition education previously. Having had previous nutrition education was related to positive nutrition beliefs, self-efficacy and knowledge [χ2 (9, N=166)= 29.04, p < .001, χ2 (2, N=154)= 4.89, p < .05, χ2 (3, N=157)= 10.36, p < .05, respectively]. Highly traditional diets were related with less weight increase and better diet quality (χ2(12,N=104)=21.94, p<.05, χ2 (9, N=155)= 18.79, p< .05, respectively. The purpose of phase two was to better understand the dietary acculturation process. Observations, in-depth interviews, and questionnaires were conducted with one family in Mexico. In-depth interviews and questionnaires were conducted with families (N=4) in Guilford County, North Carolina. Decreases in fruit and vegetable intakes and increases in snack and processed food had occurred. Availability, food displacement and cost were identified as reasons changes occurred. Because of school children's diets adopt faster thus becoming the primary driver of the families' dietary acculturation. In phase three, nutrition theater education was developed to address knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of Latino youth. Pre and post surveys were conducted with an intervention group (N=19) and with a matched non-intervention group (N=19). The traditional Latino diet was promoted. Seventy percent reported learning about nutrition. Respondents thought the American diet (group defined as hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza and French fries) was less healthy (P< .05). They also liked vegetables more and were planning to or trying to eat more beans, fruits and vegetables and less sugar after the intervention (P <.05). No changes occurred in the non-intervention group. Theater education with nutrition information appears to be effective at increasing knowledge, promoting positive attitudes and behaviors of Latino youth."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
cultural, nutrition, Latina population, Guilford County, North Carolina, obesity, food insecurity, hunnger, nutrition education,
Nutrition--Study and teaching--North Carolina
Hispanic Americans--Nutrition
Drama in education

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