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Cooking Up Energy with Predominately Latino Children during Afterschool Hours

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Objectives: We investigated the impact on body weight status and food-related behaviors following participation in the Cooking Up Energy® (CUE) Program. Methods: Children 7-11 years old attended 10 cooking/nutrition education sessions. Baseline and post-program weight, height and waist circumference measurements, frequency of participation in meal preparation and food frequency questionnaires were obtained. Data were analyzed for the entire group as well as a subgroup of overweight and obese participants. Results: Participants (N = 51) were predominately Latino (76%) and overweight (52%). Significant reduction in mean body mass index (BMI) percentile was found in the subgroup of overweight and obese participants (N = 27; p < .05). However, reduction in mean BMI z-score was non-significant. Reports of program enjoyment (98%) and an increased desire to cook more frequently at home (83%) were found; however, no significant increase in participation in meal preparation at home was found following program completion. Conclusion: The CUE program was well received by most participants, and there is indication that program participation has the potential to have a positive influence on body weight. However, more research is needed to explore ways to promote an increase in participation in food preparation at home by children.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition, Long Island University, Brookville, NY;, Email: [email protected] 2: Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Long Island University, Brookville, NY

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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