• The effect of a nutrition intervention on parents living in a rural Georgia community

      Elliot-Walker, Regina; Hayes, Dawn; Oraka, Emeka; Lewis, Rashunda; Leon, Andre; Brenau University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Childhood obesity is a concern for public health organizations. Nearly one in four children living in rural communities are obese, and children living in rural Georgia communities are no exception. For rural communities, prevention efforts are needed to address challenges to reducing childhood obesity. The objective of the present effort was to increase the knowledge of parents in a rural community of the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption and other healthy options. Methods: The “We Can Energize Families” curriculum, developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute was implemented in a rural Georgia community. Pender’s Health Promotion Model, which encompasses the theory of persons taking a self-management approach in their health lifestyle, provided the framework. Participating in the study were 21 parents who had at least one child between the ages of 9-13. Outcome measures, adapted from the 16 measures relevant to the original “We Can Energize Families” objectives, were assessed, incorporating measures related to energy balance, portion size, healthy eating, physical activity, and screen time. Paired-T tests were used to evaluate increases in parents’ knowledge of the benefits of consumption of fruits and vegetables. Statistical significance was determined at p < 0.05. Results: There were improvements in 9 of the 16 measures, including knowledge of research and energy balance; attitudes regarding energy balance, portion size, and healthy eating; and behaviors regarding healthy eating, healthy food, physical activity, and screen time. However, improvements were not evident for behaviors related to portion size, knowledge or attitudes pertaining to physical activity, or attitudes regarding screen time. Conclusions: Particularly in rural communities, parents can contribute to prevention of childhood obesity. The present results demonstrate
    • Utilization of the “Connecting the Dots” worksheet to engage undergraduate students in health promotion program planning

      Lawrence, Raymona; Walker, Ashley; Georgia Southern (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Developing a health promotion program plan requires attention to the links between objectives, activities, and overall program goals. Instructors developed the “Connecting the Dots” worksheet to help students establish these linkages. Methods: The “Connecting the Dots” worksheet included six questions pertinent to the students’ health promotion program plans. The worksheet was given to the students in a flipped classroom setting. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the tool was based upon group presentations at the end of the semester. Results: Students developed more viable program plans that included stronger links between objectives and corresponding program activities. Conclusions: The “Connecting the Dots” worksheet is a promising tool for engaging public health students in the process of developing health promotion program plans.