Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Cason, Katherine L

Committee Member

Williams , Joel E

Committee Member

Kemper , Karen A


Obesity and overweight are increasing at epidemic proportions in South Carolina for both adults and children, particularly affecting minority groups. Hispanic populations residing in South Carolina are not the exception. It is important to provide nutrition education, exercise, and behavior interventions as they are the foundations to treat parents and children who are overweight, obese, or are at risk for overweight and obesity. This study used quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the effectiveness of a nutrition and physical activity program, 'Jump into Food and Fitness' with the Hispanic population and to determine the effectiveness of the program on knowledge, attitudes and self-reported behaviors among Hispanic youth ages 8 to 11, and their parents; and to describe all the key strategies used in the development and implementation of a nutrition and physical activity program with Hispanic adults. The children's knowledge scores were compared before and after the intervention. The only statistically significant difference found was between pre- test and post-test (P=.002), post-test and post-delayed test (P=.016) in the comparison group; and between pre-test and post- test (P=0.017) in the treatment group. The qualitative data from the focus group interviews conducted with the parents provided evidence of the importance of receiving a skill-based program that is based on the traditional foods that they consume daily; emphasizing the importance of learning about how to combine foods and the importance of having the family involved in the program. Qualitative data from children surveys revealed what children enjoyed the most was learning about MyPyramid and the Kid's Activity Pyramid, being active is something fun, and the snacks that they did at the end of each day. The study indicates that the best strategies to develop and implement a program with Hispanics are to make it culturally-compatible and translated to Spanish, and to organize the lectures, activities and materials in a way that another person can use it. For the recruitment process it is vital to contact key, trusted people that the community who can establish a person to person relationship with the participants. It is important to make several phone calls to and to show that you are interested in them.

Included in

Food Science Commons



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