Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Mary T. Verklan


Obesity has become a global epidemic. Healthcare cost continues to increase due to co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease associated with obesity. The purpose of this project was to examine whether teaching nutritious food choices to obese African American and Hispanic females in healthy cooking demonstrations would have an effect on their dietary behavior. The holistic self-care model was used to develop healthy strategies for weight loss. The model guided the development of nutritional support, exercise, and spiritual strategies for weight reduction. African American and Hispanic females between the ages of 25 to 64 were solicited from a local faith-based organization. Criteria for inclusion were a BMI greater or equal to 30, completion of a pre- and post- 24-hour dietary journal, and a pre- and post- Mediterranean diet assessment survey. Women had to participate in 3 out of 4 cooking demonstration classes. Ten participants met the full criteria for inclusion in the data. The results of the participants' responses were totaled and a percentage value was determined for each question. Comparison of the percentages between the 2 surveys showed no change in the participants' dietary habits, except in the area of red meat consumption, which decreased by 40%. The participants' mean BMI pre-survey was 37.92 and 37.80 post-survey. Lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes have the potential to decrease the obesity rate. The positive impact of the cooking demonstrations on African American and Hispanic families includes a potential decrease in comorbidities associated with obesity. A healthy future for these population groups will depend on the health of their children, and social change can occur if children adopt the healthy lifestyle behaviors of the adults in their household.

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