Parent education in youth-directed nutrition interventions

Susan J. Crockett, Rebecca Mullis, Cheryl L. Perry, Russell V. Luepker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Since parents play a pivotal role in helping their children to implement eating pattern changes, interest in parent education in youth-directed nutrition interventions is likely to increase along with heightened interest in primary prevention. Previous experience indicates, however, that it may be difficult to recruit and sustain parent involvement. This article describes an evaluation of the effect on parents of two youth-directed interventions with a parent component, a classroom curriculum called Hearty Heart and Friends and a mailed-home, parent-taught approach called Hearty Heart Home Team. Using incentives, a participation rate of 85.6% was achieved in Hearty Heart Home Team. This parent-taught intervention had significantly greater impact on parent than did the school-only curriculum in the following areas: knowledge about diet and heart disease; attitudes of efficacy, intention, outcome expectation and modeling; and parent-child communication and child involvement in food or nutrition-related issues in the home. In addition, the parent-taught approach influenced foods present in the home as evidenced by Home Team groups having significantly more encouraged foods and more positive choices in six scores on a shelf inventory measure conducted by in-home interviewers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-491
Number of pages17
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1989


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