Dissertation / Thesis
An Examination of Sugar Sweetened Beverage Consumption Among Young Children in Eastern North Carolina: A Program Evaluation
By Rudiak G
The prevalence of obesity and dental caries among children is associated with early and frequent consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB). Therefore, practicing healthy eating habits early in childhood is critical. Major health disparities exist between children in rural and urban areas, especially among ethnic minority populations. The purpose of this study was to examine the consumption of SSB among children living in rural eastern North Carolina in relation to body mass index and dental caries. This program evaluation was conducted in the WIC program of a rural health department in eastern North Carolina, in collaboration with a Public Health Nurse and bilingual WIC nutritionist. Data was collected from the mothers of 31 children: White (n=10); Latino (n=14), and African American (n=7), between ages 2 to 5 years. There was an overconsumption of SSB by 27 children (87%). Latino children had the highest rate of obesity (56%). Overall, most children consumed SSB daily and serving sizes were larger than recommended. In the subsample of children ages 2 to 3 years, 29% were overweight/obese. With the overconsumption of SSB, early onset of overweight and obesity was noted. This study highlighted the need to focus interventions on early childhood consumption of SSB in the Latino community. Targeted initiatives by nurses and nutritionists are needed to reach this demographic with culturally relevant health information, perhaps through lay health advisor training program. Further investigation into false advertising of SSB should be considered a priority in rural communities. Research using photovoice may be one way to engage Latino mothers in addressing false advertising.
July 15, 2019
Rudiak G (2019). An Examination of Sugar Sweetened Beverage Consumption Among Young Children in Eastern North Carolina: A Program Evaluation. (Honors Thesis, East Carolina University). Available online: http://thescholarship.ecu.edu/handle/10342/7319