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J Fam Health Care. 2004;14(1):16-9.

Improving the diet of toddlers of Pakistani origin: a study of intensive dietary health education.

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  • 1Child Development Centre, Airedale General Hospital, Airedale NHS Trust.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether an intensive, home-based programme of dietary health education resulted in improved maternal knowledge and changes in toddlers' diets in families of Pakistani origin.

DESIGN:

Prospective intervention study.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

The study took place in Keighley, West Yorkshire, England. Thirty-three mothers, whose toddlers had been found to be anaemic, entered the programme; 26 completed it. Dietary health education was delivered by a trained link worker, supported by health visitors, a dietitian and a community paediatrician.

INTERVENTION:

Six one-hour visits were made at weekly intervals. The teaching programme focused on healthy weaning, with an emphasis on adequate intake of iron-rich foods. A purpose-designed pictorial teaching aid was used.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Maternal knowledge was assessed by targeted questions. Children's diets were assessed using 24-hour dietary recall and weekly food frequency, from which a "food frequency" score was derived.

RESULTS:

There were significant gains in maternal dietary knowledge. There were modest improvements in children's diets. The programme was valued by the mothers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mothers of Pakistani origin gained knowledge and changed their children's diets following the dietary health education programme. The study demonstrated the value of a home-based programme delivered by a trained link worker to this group, which has difficulty in accessing clinic-based services.

PMID:
15052888
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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