Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Type

Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

College/School

School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Erin Grinshteyn

Second Advisor

Courtney Keeler

Third Advisor

Amanda Lesky

Abstract

Obesity and diabetes among adults and children remains a public health concern. Rates of obesity among both demographics are slowly increasing. A plethora of research is available that unveils demographics of those who are at risk of obesity and diabetes. Barriers to healthy eating have also been documented. However, obesity remains a behavioral concern. The Food Education Project (FEP) began in 2012 and emphasizes health education throughout partnered schools in San Francisco. Health educators are employed and lead after school enrichment courses which are chosen by students. The students served are aged 5-17 and are at risk for obesity in public and private schools. Lesson plans are generated according to age group to engage students and enhance knowledge surrounding health, food, environment, and nutrition. Students are taught self-efficacy and self-awareness through cooking healthy meals and participating in outdoor gardening activities throughout the 36-week course. Parents of elementary school children expressed gratitude for FEP upon interaction with health educators. Students have expressed their desire for healthy eating through their enthusiasm and excitement during courses. Future work should analyze surveys distributed to Immaculate Conception Academy High School, a partnered school and second cohort with FEP. Pre- and post- surveys should assess knowledge retained and behaviors changed after the culmination of the course to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Call for more support from governmental organizations to contribute to healthy eating could be beneficial to improve community health. ­

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