In response to growing concerns related to childhood obesity nationally and globally, a multidisciplinary pilot project, Smart Snacking: Evaluation of a Snacking Intervention for Student-Parents to Reduce Childhood Obesity Risk, was developed to evaluate the impacts of a parenting skills-focused snacking intervention implemented among student- parents of preschool children at CSULB. Specifically, this study aims to evaluate changes in knowledge, self-efficacy, skills, and values related to parenting around snacking among student-parents through a mixed-methods, quasi-experimental, pre-post design. Student-parents are under-represented in most intervention studies on nutrition; research suggests nutrition-related beliefs, attitudes, and habits are formed in early childhood years and through family influence.
Four faculty members, Dr. Virginia Gray (College of Health and Human Services), Dr. Jyotsna Pattnaik, (College of Education), Dr. Nancy Dayne (College of Health and Human Services), and Youngok Jung (College of Health and Human Services) combined their expertise and experiences in the fields of health and nutrition, early childhood education, and child development to develop this proposal. They hope that data from this project will provide insight into means of modifying nutrition-related practices of student-parents, leading to a larger, externally-funded study.