Background: In US, approximately 23% of children between the ages of 2-5 years are overweight or obese. Parents need access to information to create healthy home environments for obesity prevention, yet participation for in-person education programs is challenging. Web-based interventions are promising educational tools due to 24/7 availability. However, information is limited on their development and evaluation.
Design and Methods: This study reports on a rigorous development process that included six focus group discussions (FGD) with stakeholders (three FGD each with parents and teachers) to assess education needs and inform the development of the Jump2Health Website™ by a multidisciplinary team. After development, the Website was evaluated by telephone interviews with stakeholders (five parents and six teachers) and reviewed by an expert panel of five Registered Dietitians.
Results: Twenty Head Start parents and 22 Head Start teachers participated in the FGD. To address the needs identified by these stakeholders, the Website was designed to include components that were enabling and motivating, such as descriptions of health benefits by achieving the desired behaviours, short videos on easy meal preparation, and tip sheets on how to achieve healthy behaviours in easy, economical ways. Stakeholder evaluation of the Website indicated that the information was helpful, easy to use, and would be beneficial for parents.
Conclusions: The development of Jump2Health Website™ was strengthened by FGD with stakeholders that assessed educational needs. Interviews with stakeholders and an expert panel review showed that the Website may be an effective educational method to teach parents about healthy behaviours related to obesity prevention.
Nutrition education; childhood obesity; website interventions; focus groups; preschool parents