Menzies School of Health Research, Australia
Lyndall Warton is a Masters by Research student at the Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University. Following a ten year career as a registered nurse, Lyndall qualified as a librarian working in a variety of roles in libraries, research support and as a database manager. Her interest in health research stems from working in disability services, aged care, public health and working in the hospital environment with people with chronic medical conditions. Lyndall also worked as a health liaison librarian and is a volunteer member of the Top End Health Service Health Literacy Committee. She was also a sub-editor for the Health Libraries Australia ‘News’ and ‘Alerts’ publications.
Statement of the Problem: The direct link between childhood obesity and poor nutrition is well documented. Research provides evidence that parents can have a significant influence on children’s eating patterns. It is still unclear how and at what level family involvement yields the largest impact on children’s behaviors. The purpose of this systematic review is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of school-based nutrition education studies undertaken with low-income populations to identify effective strategies to engage parents in school-based nutrition education interventions.
Method: In September and October 2016, relevant databases were systematically searched and 4672 references were retrieved. Titles and abstracts have been scanned independently by three review authors. Full-text copies of 223 of those articles deemed eligible for further review have been retrieved for closer examination. The diagram shows the number of articles identified in each step so far. Articles were included if: participants included school children aged 5 to 12 years old; were aimed at obesity prevention; had family or parent involvement, and the intervention included any health promotion activity including nutrition education or nutrition promotion programs by itself or combined with other interventions. Physical activity interventions without a nutrition component were excluded. Ninety-two reviews were also identified and their reference lists examined to identify relevant studies that may not have been captured in the initial search. Data will be extracted by one review author and verified by a second review author. Subgroup analysis will include: program duration; the degree of parental involvement; study design; theory base; age of the children; and obesity levels.
Significance: The systematic review will provide information on effective ways to engage parents in school-based nutrition education interventions to encourage healthful eating and drinking behaviors in low-income populations. This evidence may help to inform policy and practice to design effective obesity prevention initiatives.