Parent/Caregiver Perceptions of Youth Health Outcomes After Participating in the WeCook: Fun With Food and Fitness Program

Kallie Schlange, Lisa Franzen-Castle, Ashley Walther, Tara Dunker, Michelle Krehbiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many youth programs focused on improving health outcomes have not examined parent/caregiver perceptions postparticipation even though they may significantly influence youth behaviors. The primary purpose of this study was to examine changes in adult perceptions of youth- and family-related behavior after youth participated in a 12-week out-of-school time food preparation, nutrition, and physical activity program with a treatment only design. A secondary objective was to assess differences in survey responses by demographic characteristics. The program targeted fourth- and fifth-grade youth at two Title I elementary schools while also engaging families. Pre- and postprogram surveys were administered to parent/caregivers (n = 60) across four cohorts spanning the spring 2016 school semester to fall 2017 school semester. Adult demographic characteristics and perceptions of youth- and family-related outcomes were collected. Results demonstrated a significant increase (p value <.05) in adults’ perceptions of their youth’s ability to choose healthy snacks and decrease screen time. Additionally, lower income adults reported increased youth sedentary habits, adults using food assistance reported decreased family breakfast frequency, and adults with smaller household sizes reported decreased youth activity before school. Further research is needed on adult and family outcomes from youth cooking programs to better understand the adult and youth health relationship and encourage obesity prevention programs to increase their focus on the family component and associated assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-149
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • evaluation
  • outcome evaluation
  • socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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