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Family Eats:Cancer Prevention for Families

8 Years
10 Years
Open (Enrolling)

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Trial Information

Family Eats:Cancer Prevention for Families

Although the burden of cancer is high among individuals of all ethnicities, ethnic
differences in cancer incidence and mortality exist. African-Americans experience a higher
incidence of certain cancers compared with the White population, with mortality rates at
least 40% higher than other populations. Obesity, high fat, and low fruit (F) and vegetable
(V) intakes increase cancer risks. Cancers may develop over a long period of time, with some
possibly initiating in childhood; therefore, promoting FV and preventing excess weight gain
during childhood could be cancer protective. Families influence children's dietary behaviors
by direct modeling of dietary behaviors, parenting skills around food, and controlling the
home food environment. However, few intervention studies have focused on family influences
on dietary behaviors, particularly among ethnic minority groups which may differ in cultural
and other aspects of family functioning. Unfortunately, low participation rates for
community-based family interventions suggest that alternate intervention delivery systems be
investigated. The internet provides family access within the convenience of the home. In a
previous R21 application, the Principal Investigator developed an eight-session interactive
web-based program promoting a healthy home food environment for African-American families
with 9-12 year old daughters (Family Eats). Family Eats was evaluated for feasibility and
changes in mediating variables were obtained. This proposal will test the efficacy of the
Family Eats web program to improve FV and dietary fat behavior and weight outcomes among 320
AA families with 8-12 year old children. This important study will pioneer a new channel for
behavior change intervention with African-American families and holds the promise of
reaching large numbers of children and their families, enabling all to adopt healthy eating
behaviors and achieve energy balance and reduce cancer risks.

Inclusion Criteria:

- African -American families with 8-10 year old children

- Home computer with dsl line

Exclusion Criteria:

- Parents or children who report a medically prescribed diet, identified through a
pre-screening questionnaire, will be excluded because these mothers may have received
prior dietary counseling and have increased motivation for making dietary changes.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject), Primary Purpose: Prevention

Outcome Measure:

Diet (fruit, vegetables, sweetened beverages, fat and calories)

Outcome Time Frame:

baseline, post and 6 months

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Karen W Cullen, DrPH

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Baylor College of Medicine


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

September 2009

Completion Date:

October 2012

Related Keywords:

  • Healthy
  • diet
  • African-American families
  • web-based



Children's Nutrition Research Center Houston, Texas  77030