Purpose: To determine if presenting Mexican TV ads and an educational program on nutrition, labels, physical activity and exercise can increase Mexican migrant workers children’s knowledge and attitude of obesity.
Methodology: A descriptive exploratory research design conducted in a clinic for children of Migrant workers in south Florida. Mexican children listened to Mexican TV ads, completed five pre/post tests= 15 questions - “My Plate”; “Food Label”; “Physical Activity and Exercise” “Healthy Snacks” and “Goal Setting”. Content validity was established. Community Health ASN & RN-BSN students participated in Muevete USA™ during Cinco de Mayo Day. Students, received 10 community hours for designing posters and promoting healthy habits for 25 children (4-15); taking food cutouts, making plates with appropriate portions, nutritional requirements and reading labels. Healthy snacks were served. Each child received a jumping rope along with exercises and games. A FDA representative taught hand washing techniques.
Results: Over 357 Hispanic children participated over two years in two different sites; There were 100 children at the 1st site 1st year and 132 2nd year and 125 children at 2nd site in the 2nd year. Hispanic children ranged in age 4-16, mean age 9.4 at 1st site while it was mean age of 8.1 at 2nd site ranging from kindergarten to 9th grade. There were equal number Blacks and Hispanics with lower number of Caucasians at the 1st site while at the 2nd site, there were predominately Hispanics with more Caucasians than Blacks. There were more males at both sites. Mean number of questions correct out of 15 (pretest) was 9.4 and increased to 10.58 at posttest. children ranged in age 4-12; M for pretest was 9.4 increasing to 10.58 posttest with 13.62% change at 1st site and Mean for pretest at 2nd site M pretest was 8.33 increasing to 9.45 with 13% change. Higher scores correlated with older children pre to posttest. Children of Mexican migrant worker’s (25) participated on Cinco de Mayo Day ranging in age 4-12; M for pretest was 8.0, increasing to 9.0 posttest with 10% change.
Discussion: Mexican children listened to the Mexican TV ads and understood nutrition facts labels, identified food handling, daily portions of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein and drew a plate with food portions (www.choosemyplate.gov). They exercised with a jumping rope, did hand washing techniques. Parents received nutrition classes. Most missed question was-“How much Sodium is in this entire food product?” per food label. Sodium-440 mg; 4 servings = 1760mg.
Conclusion: Mexican children loved watching Mexican TV ads, jumping rope, eating healthy snacks and exercising. They understood the need to wash their hands and learned to overcome and confront childhood obesity. This program helps to reduce obesity for Mexican children, decreasing the obesity level and reducing the associated healthcare costs.
See more of: Oral Paper & Poster: Science Sessions