Presentation Title

Development and Testing of a Pilot Integrated Mental Health and Nutrition Education Program for Low-Income Families in Southern California

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Keywords

Nutrition, Public Health, Mental Health, Curriculum Development

Department

Nutritional Science

Major

Nutritional Science

Abstract

Development of an Integrated Mental Health and Nutrition Education Program for WIC Participants

Background: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a national program that aims to improve nutrition and health behaviors in low-income mothers and children through nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, medical and social service referrals and supplemental food packages. All of these services are essential for improving health outcomes in this population, however research has shown that nutrition knowledge and food packages alone do not guarantee healthier participants. One established reason for this is that stress and depressive symptoms can lead to poor food choices and habits.

Methods: This pilot program combines mental health education and nutrition education in a group setting in order to provide much needed support to WIC participants and improve health outcomes. The program is based on Cognitive Behavioral Theory and was developed in the form of 6 reusable modules and handouts, which eliminates the cost-prohibitive need for mental health practitioners. It was implemented through a partnership of PHFE-WIC, Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology, and Seaver College (Nutrition Program), and provides hands on training for students along with free service delivery for participants. This program was piloted at 2 WIC clinics in Los Angeles – one in the format of a consecutive 6-week program with the same group of participants each week, and the other in a monthly class where anyone can attend, to determine if there is a difference in efficacy depending on the format.

Results & Implications: Due to low attendance rates, statistical measures of the efficacy of the program are not available; however, participant and provider feedback were positive and suggest the program has potential to be beneficial. The next steps are to correct advertising mistakes that may have led to low attendance, pilot this program again in the summer, and seek funding to test the curriculum next year.

Module

Title

Topics Covered

1

Making Healthy Habits

Nutrition Basics & Habit Formation

2

Stress Management & Self-Care

Stress Management & Self-Care

3

Organize Your Life

Reducing Household Chaos & Meal Prep

4

All About Mindfulness

Mindfulness and Mindful Eating

5

Changing Negative Thinking

Changing Negative Thinking

6

Getting What You Want

Communication Skills

Faculty Mentor

Loan Kim

Funding Source or Research Program

Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative, Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Presentation Session

Session C

Location

Plaza Classroom 188

Start Date

24-3-2017 3:45 PM

End Date

24-3-2017 4:00 PM

 
Mar 24th, 3:45 PM Mar 24th, 4:00 PM

Development and Testing of a Pilot Integrated Mental Health and Nutrition Education Program for Low-Income Families in Southern California

Plaza Classroom 188

Development of an Integrated Mental Health and Nutrition Education Program for WIC Participants

Background: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a national program that aims to improve nutrition and health behaviors in low-income mothers and children through nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, medical and social service referrals and supplemental food packages. All of these services are essential for improving health outcomes in this population, however research has shown that nutrition knowledge and food packages alone do not guarantee healthier participants. One established reason for this is that stress and depressive symptoms can lead to poor food choices and habits.

Methods: This pilot program combines mental health education and nutrition education in a group setting in order to provide much needed support to WIC participants and improve health outcomes. The program is based on Cognitive Behavioral Theory and was developed in the form of 6 reusable modules and handouts, which eliminates the cost-prohibitive need for mental health practitioners. It was implemented through a partnership of PHFE-WIC, Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology, and Seaver College (Nutrition Program), and provides hands on training for students along with free service delivery for participants. This program was piloted at 2 WIC clinics in Los Angeles – one in the format of a consecutive 6-week program with the same group of participants each week, and the other in a monthly class where anyone can attend, to determine if there is a difference in efficacy depending on the format.

Results & Implications: Due to low attendance rates, statistical measures of the efficacy of the program are not available; however, participant and provider feedback were positive and suggest the program has potential to be beneficial. The next steps are to correct advertising mistakes that may have led to low attendance, pilot this program again in the summer, and seek funding to test the curriculum next year.

Module

Title

Topics Covered

1

Making Healthy Habits

Nutrition Basics & Habit Formation

2

Stress Management & Self-Care

Stress Management & Self-Care

3

Organize Your Life

Reducing Household Chaos & Meal Prep

4

All About Mindfulness

Mindfulness and Mindful Eating

5

Changing Negative Thinking

Changing Negative Thinking

6

Getting What You Want

Communication Skills