Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


Date of this Version

Summer 7-30-2014


Miller A. Psychosocial Food-Related Behavior and Food Intake of Adult Main Meal Preparers of Food for 9-10 Year-Old Children Participating in iCook, a Five-State Childhood Obesity Pilot Prevention Study. [master's thesis]. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska-Lincoln; 2014.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Nutrition and Health Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor Lisa Franzen-Castle. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Ashley A. Miller


Understanding adult outcomes of programs aimed at childhood obesity prevention is necessary because parents/caregivers are the most important influence on a child’s physical activity and eating habits. Based on the principles of the social cognitive theory, the iCook 4-H pilot study taught dyads consisting of 9-10 year-old children and their primary meal preparers cooking skills, healthy shopping and meal habits, and easy ways to incorporate physical activity as a family. The program took place in five states, Maine, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia. In each state, adult-youth dyads (n = 54) were recruited by 4-H programs and nutrition educators and/or paraprofessionals, through flyers, e-mails, and in-person contact. The data collected measured self-reported food intake, food procurement and preparation practices, food safety, parent-child feeding relationships, family mealtime routines, quality of life, height and weight, and demographics through seven instruments at baseline and after program completion. Descriptive statistics, two-related samples tests and paired samples T tests were used to assess the data at a p < 0.05 level of significance. Eighty–two percent of participants were female and 18% were male. Most had either completed a bachelor’s degree (31.3%) or some college (29.2 %). At program conclusion, participants significantly improved meal planning (p= 0.007), including prioritizing healthy meal choices (p = 0.050), shopping with a grocery list (p = 0.045), and reading the ‘Nutrition Facts’ labels (p = 0.015). Parent-child feeding interactions, such as decreased control over food and using food as a reward (p = 0.023) were significantly more desirable after the program. Adults became significantly more confident with their cooking skills (p = 0.015), expressed a desire to cook more meals at home (p = 0.015), and purchased significantly fewer meals from fast food restaurants (p = 0.033). Fruit juice (100%), vegetable soup, and whole grain consumption significantly improved (p = 0.012, p < 0.0001, p = 0.009). The iCook 4-H pilot study was effective in teaching many meal planning, cooking, and physical activity skills that families put into practice.

Advisor: Lisa Franzen-Castle