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Title:Childhood Obesity Prevention with Asian Families
Alt. Title:Healthy Food Options: What to Eat More Of and What to Eat Less Of; Fast Food & Soft Drinks: How to Make Healthier Choices; Healthy Weight for My Child; Children Need to Play & Move Their Bodies Everyday; Balancing TV & Computer Time with Play Time
Pub. date: 2006
Includes: educational pamphlets
Audience: Parents, Children, Asian
Language: Korean, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Lao, Chinese, Hmong and English
Description:This is a series of five culturally sensitive and relevant educational pamphlets that can help immigrant Asian parents understand how they can adapt to a new environment and food supply in a way that will foster the health and welfare of their children. They were developed in light of studies which have shown that the diets of low income SNAP Certified Eligible and SNAP Likely Eligible immigrants to the United States become less nutrient dense as immigrant families acculturate. Risk for obesity increases as each generation becomes more and more “Americanized” in terms of their eating patterns. These materials were developed with the purpose of reducing the risk of adult and child obesity among specific Asian immigrant populations.
Funding Source: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), USDA
Developer: Kim P. Nguyen, Joanne Ikeda
Organization: University of California, Berkeley
Phone: 510-642-3589
Length: 4 pages in each of 5 pamphlets
Readability: 5th grade
Pilot Testing: In collaboration with county staff, the University of California Berkeley Cooperative Extension used focus groups to identify the needs and interests of non-English speaking food stamp recipients about childhood overweight. The results of the focus groups were used to design a series of culturally sensitive and relevant educational materials that can help immigrant parents understand how they can adapt to a new environment and food supply in a way that will foster the health and welfare of their children. The educational materials were pilot-tested with small groups of parents for cognitive knowledge, change in attitudes about overweight in children, and any intentions to change family health behaviors.
Use Restrictions: May copy for educational purposes.
Reviewers Comments: Moving to a new country can be difficult, and one of the hardest adjustments is often adapting to new foods and eating habits. This series of pamphlets is designed to assist immigrant Asian parents with household management skills to reduce their child’s risk of becoming overweight, while keeping culture integrity and pride. Materials are interactive and include worksheets, an extra reading page, and checklists for both parents and children. They are currently available in Vietnamese, Korean, Cambodian, Chinese, Lao, Hmong or English.

Each of the large pamphlets (almost 8.5” x 11”) is a four page booklet with a one page insert and focuses on a different topic. The five topics are:

  • Healthy Food Options: What to Eat More of and What to Eat Less Of
  • Fast Food and Soft Drinks: How to Make Healthier Choices
  • Healthy Weight for My Child
  • Children Need to Play & Move Their Bodies Everyday
  • Balancing TV & Computer Time with Play Time

The booklets are very colorful with lots of crisp visuals and culturally sensitive graphics. Some graphics are repeated on more than one brochure. The main font is large and easy to read and understand. The text is sparse and balanced well with white space and pictures. The booklets clearly encourage behavior change among participants using tested techniques. Each of the pamphlets contains participatory activities in which users are instructed to fill in lists and answer questions based on their lives. There are also tips and advice for how they can incorporate basic changes to render healthier lifestyle for their families. The one page insert contains guidance for parents on how to talk and listen to their children and involve them in making changes as well. Some of the brochures contain web sites to go to for additional resources. A common theme throughout is to encourage parents to be good role models for their children – “What you do, your child sees and does” is written on every pamphlet.

While no specific dietary advice is given, one of the pamphlets divides common Asian and American foods into MyPyramid categories, and then divides them further to three groups each – foods to eat often, sometimes and rarely. This pamphlet is different for each of the populations, because of the differences in foods consumed. At the tops of these lists are the foods most customary to the specific groups. The pictures on these brochures also differ to match the text and correspond to familiar foods for the specific population. Another brochure describes how to make healthier food choices when eating out. Although most of the graphics are very clear, one of the pictures on the cover of a veggie burger may be interpreted as a fried chicken or fish sandwich. It may be helpful to swap the photo with a picture of a salad or something that is easier to visually identify.

Overall, these brochures are very well written, have a nice lay-out and contain valuable and relevant information. The materials are also quite necessary and pertinent as there is a lack of culturally sensitive materials available to meet the needs of new immigrant groups. Much of the topics and techniques used, except for the specific food items listed, could also be adapted for use with similar immigrant groups and even Native Americans. This resource would be advantageous to any nutrition educator looking to help parents provide a healthy living environment for their young children and helping them to communicate with their children on issues related to overweight.

View/download files: 
PDF files (low and high resolution) available in Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Lao, Hmong and English:
Contact the Distributor:
    Distributor: University of California, Berkeley, Cooperative Extension
    Contact: Joanne Ikeda
    Mail: 2180 Dwight Way Suite C
Berkeley, CA 94704
    Phone: 510-642-3589
    Ordering: Available for download
    Order URL:
    Avail. in Qty: No

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