A pilot study of a pictorial bilingual nutrition education game to improve the consumption of healthful foods in a head start population

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2012 Apr;9(4):1319-25. doi: 10.3390/ijerph9041319. Epub 2012 Apr 16.


The prevalence of early childhood obesity has increased dramatically particularly among the Mexican American population. Obesity leads to earlier onset of related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The Head Start population of Texas is largely Mexican American. Dietary intake in this population demonstrated a diet very low in fiber, high in salt, and containing excessive calories with a low intake of fruit and vegetables. This study was performed in a Texas Head Start population to evaluate a bilingual pictorial nutrition education game. Acceptance of the bilingual concept and the game had been previously studied in a Head Start population in five Texas counties. The effectiveness in producing a change in eating habits was studied as a pilot project 413 children and their parents at the Bastrop County Head Start. Parents were asked to supply data about at home food frequency at the beginning and the end of the school year and the results compared. The parents were given a demonstration of the educational objectives and the students played the game throughout the year. By the end of the school year there was a statistically significant increase in the vegetables offered to this population both during the week at home (p = 0.009) and on the weekends (p = 0.02).

Keywords: nutritional intervention; preschool children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet
  • Early Intervention, Educational
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Fruit
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Mexican Americans
  • Multilingualism
  • Nutritive Value
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Texas
  • Vegetables
  • Water


  • Water