Latter-day Saint (LDS) families with two parents and two children between the ages of 6-16 were recruited to participate in a weekly nutrition Family Home Evening (FHE) study and randomized into either a control group or an intervention group. Each family had to complete a nutrition screener prior to and after completing 6 weekly FHE lessons in the family's home environment. Online nutritional instruction was given to the intervention group for their FHE lessons, while the control group studied typical religious topics. Data taken from the nutrition screener were collapsed into a healthy or unhealthy diet score by averaging scores for questions relating to healthy or unhealthy food practices respectively. The question responses were based on a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 being less than once per week to 6 being 2+ times per day relative to specific type of food consumption. In the healthy diet profile intervention group (n = 64), parents started at 2.6 or just greater than once a week and increased to 3.0 or as much as 3 times a week. The children increased from 2.3 or slightly more than once a week to 2.7 or nearly 2-3 times per week. The overall effect was significant for parents and children (p < .001). These results suggest the intervention group increased eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grain from just greater than once per week to as much as 3 times per week, a 50% increase, in response to the nutritional FHE lessons. The parents started and ended with higher scores than the children, however, the overall increase in scores was similar. In the unhealthy diet profile (n = 33), no significant change was observed between the control and intervention groups. Results of this study suggest that FHE may be an effective tool for improving nutritional behavior in LDS families. Family-based interventions using religious organizations seem to be a promising channel for implementing healthy behavior change.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



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nutrition, intervention, family, LDS, religious