Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nutrition and Food Systems

Committee Chair

Elaine F. Molaison

Committee Chair Department

Nutrition and Food Systems

Committee Member 2

Alicia Landry

Committee Member 2 Department

Nutrition and Food Systems

Committee Member 3

James Johnson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if nutrition knowledge of parents was related to the weight status of preschool-aged children. Objectives of this study included determining if relationships existed between parent knowledge of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and child weight status, between parent knowledge of serving sizes and child weight status, and between overall parent nutrition knowledge and child weight status.

Data were obtained from 101 parents enrolled in a Head Start program in southern Mississippi. Weight status was obtained from 101 three to five year old children. Parent data was collected via survey, developed by the principal investigator. The survey had a 5.5 grade level, was pilot tested by 15 parents, and scored a 0.76 Kuder Richardson internal consistency reliability coefficient.

On the Dietary Guidelines portion of the survey. parents of healthy weight children had knowledge scores significantly higher (p<0.05) than parents of obese children. On the portion sizes aspect of the survey. there were no significant differences found between parents of healthy weight children versus parents of obese children. However, parents of healthy weight children had scores significantly higher (p<0.05) than parents of obese children for the overall nutrition score. This research demonstrates as parent nutrition knowledge of Dietary Guidelines and overall nutrition increases, child weight status decreases.

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