A. Nutrition Education Needs
The intervention targets Hispanic pregnant teenagers. In 2012, 305,420 babies were born to females ages 15 to 19 (US). Also, one in five births from the same age group, were to females who already had one or more babies (US). Hispanics currently have the highest teen birth rates, and according to charts, Texas is one of the highest states to have teenage birth rates (US).
Expecting a baby during adolescence years poses a threat to the future child, not only in the early years, but also in years to come of the child’s life (klein). Adolescent mothers are still growing themselves, with a growing baby to take care of in the womb now; it causes competition of nutrients between child and mother (sch). Competition of nutrients means that the mother should be consuming a very nutrient rich diet consisting of a lot of fruits and vegetables along with a high-quality prenatal vitamin (sch).
Many people do not consume enough fruits and vegetables as it is, without supporting a growing a baby. Therefore, there is a need for education of how to incorporate these nutrient dense foods in everyday life and how many servings of fruits and vegetables are needed. Variety in order to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals is also a lesson needing to be taught throughout the target population.
B. The Theory of Planned Behavior
The theory of planned behavior is an individual’s intention to change behavior (Ajen). This is determined by both personal attitudes toward the new behavior and perception of social pressure to change the behavior (from PP). An individual is more likely to implement changes if they believe that the new behavior will most likely lead to constructive outcomes (from PP). They are also more likely to adopt new ideas if significant people in the individual’s life think the new behavior should be used (from PP).
Table 1. The theory of planned behavior as applied to Hispanic pregnant teenagers
Concept Need for nutrition education Strategies for change in lesson
Behavioral Intention Behavior needs to be changed in order for one to their lifestyle. Nutrition is not just a diet; it is a lifestyle choice. Lessons such as the Fast Food or Fat Food lesson teaches the children that being healthy includes changing your behavior to the world around us.
Attitude Attitude and behavior go hand-in-hand. The individual has to have a good attitude toward new behavior in order to implement change. In the Food with Attitude lesson, it’s focus is to break down negative attitudes with trying new foods.
Subjective Norm If a peer or person of importance is trying new and more healthy versions of different foods, it breaks the barrier of behaviors and attitudes associated with trying new foods. Students are more likely to try that new food and actually like it. Students need to have an example that trying new food is a fun, healthy, and exciting. With these lessons being done in the classroom, makes it easier for students to be...