A family-based intervention targeting childhood obesity among Ghanaian immigrants: Quality improvement project
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Childhood obesity is an epidemic in developed and undeveloped countries. Obesity and being overweight are said to have a significant effect on physical health, as well as social and psychological consequences in children. The effects of environmental factors, lifestyle behavior, and cultural beliefs play a significant role in this epidemic. Most parents do not identify their children as obese or overweight due to their lack of understanding of childhood obesity. Obesity in the Ghanaian culture is viewed as a positive implication in life; therefore, the quality improvement (QI) project is centered on providing knowledge to influence change regarding obesity. This QI project of a family-based intervention targeting childhood obesity among Ghanaian immigrants using a diet and physical activity approach will help bring awareness and knowledge change. The specific target population for this project was Ghanaian mothers who reside in the United States, who are between the ages of 21 and 43 years, and who have children in a faith-based location. The instrument used in this project was the Family Eating and Activity Habits Questionnaire (FEAHQ), which is categorized into four phenomena, including activity level, eating style, eating related to hunger, and stimulus exposure. Concerning activity levels, the M scores were 1.51 for mothers, 1.28 for fathers, and 2.08 for children. The eating style category was higher at posttest for mothers, at t (22) = 10.04, p =.000. In the eating related to hunger category, 80% of children will delay eating when not hungry compared to a pretest response of 32%. The M score for families eating in restaurants decreased from 1.80 pretest to 1.04 posttest.