Date of Award

12-2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Advisor

Cason, Katherine

Abstract

The Latino population in South Carolina is rapidly growing. Much of this population is low-income and many have a low level of education. Latinos have a greater incidence of obesity and the resulting diseases than other ethnicities and Latino children are no exception. It is important to provide nutrition education to caregivers so that child overweight and obesity can be prevented in this population. In order to provide effective nutrition education it is essential to know what behaviors need to be targeted. This study used qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the child feeding practices used by this population to determine if currently used practices should be incorporated into nutrition education. In the quantitative study, feeding practices were compared to BMI, caregiver income and education. The only significant relationships found was that as education increased authoritarian feeding practices decreased. The qualitative study findings were that parents were more concerned about a child eating enough than about a child eating too much. The ultimate goal of caregivers was to get the child to eat and this resulted in the caregivers using feeding practices from all of the feeding styles, except the uninvolved style. This may indicate that a population more concerned with a child eating enough than a child eating too much may not be able to be categorized into feeding styles because they may use techniques from multiple styles. The prevention of individual feeding practices such as using rewards, bribes, punishment, and short order cooking should be the focus in this population in nutrition education. In addition, other variables such as child activity level, the health risks of child overweight and whole milk intake, and the benefits of consuming whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates should be targeted to prevent childhood obesity in this population.

Included in

Nutrition Commons

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