Date of Award

8-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Advisor

Cason, Katherine L

Committee Member

Northcutt , Julie K

Committee Member

Layfield , Dale

Committee Member

Hernandez-Garbanzo , Yenory

Abstract

Background: In the United States, nearly 70% of the population is overweight. The U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey says Hispanics have the second prevalence of obesity, thus, increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes in the largest minority group in the U.S. (U.S. Census, 2010). This requires effective and culturally appropriate interventions to promote healthy lifestyles. (WHO, 2003). Objective: The purpose of this study was to design and pilot-test a culturally appropriate tool to assure the nutrition information provided to the Hispanic population is appropriate. Design: The research design consisted of a triangulation of methods including different qualitative and quantitative methods and data collection sources. This study has four phases: 1) formative research about the concept of cultural appropriateness in nutrition education programs for Hispanics through a systematic literature review and interviews with EFNEP State Coordinators/staff; 2) based on data obtained from aim 1, design a conceptual framework for the development of a culturally appropriate tool; 3) development and testing of a culturally appropriate evaluation tool; and 4) use the evaluation tool designed to assess the level of cultural appropriateness of a nutrition education curriculum for Hispanic women in SC. Results: To verify the need of an evaluation tool on nutrition education programs for Hispanics, the online survey was sent to 125 EFNEP State coordinators. Out of this total 31.2% (n=39) provided responses that showed the materials they usually used are in Spanish, mostly translations. 93.96% (n=39) considered that having an evaluation tool for cultural appropriateness would be helpful. The pilot-test of the evaluation tool designed for this study on Celebrating Health/Celebrando la Salud curriculum was done with a convenient sample of 10 Spanish speaking nutrition educators. The results of the analyzed feedback (n=8) established that the instrument is relevant to cultural competence and easy to implement in any curricula. The final stage of the investigation included a focus group with 15 Hispanic women with an average age of 38.2 years. In this stage, the results related to the cultural aspect rather than the program's visual component. Some aspects considered included: Spanish language, a culturally sensitive educator and Hispanic recipes. Conclusions: Further work is needed. Preliminary results suggest that the culturally appropriate nutrition education evaluation tools could be used for evaluating nutrition education programs for Hispanics and that the CH curriculum is culturally appropriate for Hispanics.

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