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Parents’ Perceptions of 5210 Nutrition Messaging and Child Weight Status

Nicely, Stephanie, Miller, M. Elizabeth, Craviotto, Marisol del-Teso
Journal of nutrition education and behavior 2019 v.51 no.5 pp. 629-635
Head Start, childhood obesity, children, eating habits, family resource management, focus groups, food choices, fruits, healthy diet, models, parent education, parents, physical activity, vegetables, Ohio
To explore parent perceptions of child weight status and 5210 nutrition messaging recommendations, including daily consumption of 5 fruits and vegetables, limiting child screen time to ≤2 hours, incorporating 1 hour of daily physical activity, and no consumption of sugary, sweetened beverages.Using the Convergence Model of Communication as a framework, qualitative focus groups (n = 5) were conducted at 4 Head Start sites across 1 Ohio County. Twenty-eight parents aged 20–60 years comprised the groups. A deductive analysis technique with respondent validation was used.Parents have limited understanding of 5210 messages delivered by the program. Parent food preferences, family finances, and children's picky eating were identified as barriers to integrating healthy eating habits at home. Parents prefer practical strategies regarding how to integrate healthy eating habits into the home environment. Participants expressed concern about children's psychological health and happiness vs weight status.Understanding parental perceptions of 5210 messaging and program-reported weight status may assist Head Start programs in addressing childhood obesity through focused parent education and support.