University of Rhode Island Examines Impact of House Calls Concerning Nutrition Guidance

NEC member the University of Rhode Island has launched a research project to improve the diet quality of preschoolers in low-income and minority households. Under the guidance of Associate Professor Alison Tovar of the College of Health Science, this program aims to determine the most effective means of intervention to improve diet, particularly in the form of home visits.

Having received funding through a three-year, $730,000 grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, this project aims to prevent childhood obesity and improve diet quality. The intervention will include methods such as in-home cooking demonstrations, text messages, and phone calls to advise parents on proper nutrition for their families. The researchers will also observe meal times recorded on cell phones and provide feedback to families on their eating habits. Certified community health workers will conduct the home visits.

Professor Tovar stated, “The goal is to improve diet quality in children, and the approach that we’re taking is meeting the parents where they are. Parents live very busy live and have many responsibilities, so instead of asking parents to go somewhere and participate, we can come to them in hopes that this will make it easier for them.”

The New England Council congratulates the University of Rhode Island on this ground-breaking research to positively influence the nutrition of preschoolers in low-income and ethnically diverse households.

Read more from the Providence Business Journal.

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