A College and a University Collaborating on “Moving On” Project: Reducing Hispanic Childhood Obesity

Saturday, 29 July 2017: 9:30 AM

Patricia R. Messmer, PhD, MSN, MA, BSN, RN-BC, FAAN1
Nora Hernandez-Pupo, MSN2
Yolanda Nitti, MSN1
Giannina Santos, DNP, MSN1
Guillermo Valdes, DNP1
Kathleen Muniz, MSN1
Yamina Alvarez, DNP1
(1)Benjamín León School of Nursing, Miami Dade College, Miami, FL, USA
(2)College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Barry Unviersity, Miami Shores, FL, USA

Introduction: Childhood obesity is known to increase risk of obesity in adulthood and can lead to type 2 Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease (Chen et al, 2016, Evans et al, 2016; Bauer, 2015; Brown, Kuk & Lee, 2015) Treating obesity-related illness in Florida (25%) costs $6,675,940. Latino children are at a greater risk of obesity with prevalence increasing over time. National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) Miami Chapter was a site for Muevete USA™ Project (2012-2015) reducing Hispanic childhood obesity (Milan, 2011). The 2016 project partnered with U.S. 1st Lady Michelle Obama Let’s Move (www.letsmove.gov). The collegiate ASN/RN-BSN students was at a summer camp while the University BSN students conducted their program in a elementary school.

Purpose: To determine if an education program can increase the level of knowledge preventing childhood obesity focusing on 1) awareness/understanding of food labels; 2) daily portions of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein;and 3) incorporating daily physical activity and exercises.

Methodology: A descriptive exploratory research design was conducted with children completing five pre/post tests of 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 projects at South campus (1st-3rd) and Homestead (2nd - 4th years) . Students, received 10 community hours; orientation, designing posters and attending events. Children were divided into 12 groups (2 students/group) taking food cutouts, making plates with appropriate portions, nutritional requirements and reading labels. In the 4th year, President-elect NAHN, Miami Chapter had 7 University BSN students teach "Moving -On" for two 4th grade classes.  

Results: In 2016, 56 children did "Moving-On" at a summer camp in Homestead; 58% males 42% females ages 9-12 Hispanic 75%, White 20%; Black 5%; with 34% change while 42 children did Moving-On during school; ages 10-11, 55% females-45% males 95% Hispanic 3% Caucasian and 1% Asian with 23% change. In 2015, 128 children participated ages ranged 4-15 mean=8.51 years; males- 59% females 41%. Hispanic 74%, Black 36%, White 22%, Asian-1% pretest-posttest scores increasing 9.77-11.81, a 21% change. at the 2nd site, 109 children participated ages ranged 5-12 mean= 8.51 years, males- 65%, females 41%; Hispanic 74%, White 20%; Black 5% Asian 1%; pretest-posttest scores increased 9.77--11.81, 42% change.  In 2014, 125 children participated-ages ranged 4-15 mean=8 years, kg-8th grade males-62%, females 38%; Hispanic 55%, White 30%; Black 9% Asian 6%; pretest-posttest scores increased 9.40--10.68, 13.62% change. At the 2nd site 102 children participating ages ranged 4-15 mean= 9 years; males- 54% females 46%. Hispanic 41%, Black 38%, White 13%, Asian-8% pretest-posttest scores increasing 8.33-9.45, a 13% change. In 2013, 130 children participated; ages 5-12; males 50%, females 50%; mostly Hispanics. All mean scores increased pre-to posttest 1st test 3.13-4.67; 2nd test 2.94-3.72 3rd test 3.50-4.55 4th test 3.50- 4.13; 5th test 2.96-3.52

Discussion: Over the past four years over 692 Children drew plates with food portions (www.choosemyplate.gov), ate healthy snacks, exercised to Zumba or exercised to a youtube video, did hand washing techniques, wearing “Moving-On” t-shirts. Parents received nutrition classes. Most missed question -“How much Sodium is in entire food product?” on a food label. Sodium is 440 mg but for 4 servings = 1760mg.

Conclusion: Children learned healthy food habits to overcome childhood obesity. This program increases knowledge of obesity for Hispanic/non-Hispanic children while decreasing associated healthcare costs.