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Development of Evaluation Tools to Assess the Effectiveness of a Guided Grocery Store Tour Nutrition Education Program: A Pilot Study

      Objective

      Evaluate the effectiveness of a guided grocery store tour to improve Nutrition Knowledge (NK) and Food Selection Behaviors (FSB) among low-income adults in Pitt County, North Carolina.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants, Intervention

      The study was conducted in collaboration with the Pitt County Health Department and used the national curriculum, Cooking Matters At The Store (CMATS). Local dietitians led each tour and focused on label reading, comparing unit prices, whole grains, and purchasing fruits/vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned). Each tour ended with a “$10 Challenge” in which participants use knowledge learned to make a healthy meal with a budget. Participants made additional baskets if they did not meet the challenge on the first try.

      Outcome Measures and Analysis

      NK was evaluated with a 16-item pre/post survey. FSB were evaluated during the $10 Challenge by photographing each meal created by participants. Descriptives and Wilcoxin-signed rank tests were used to analyze data.

      Results

      A total of 28 participants from 10 tours were included in the final sample. Participants were primarily female (98.6%) and were Black. NK significantly improved (82.81% (pre), 89.06% (post); p-.03). Approximately 69% of participants met the $10 challenge on the first round. No significant differences were observed in calories or macronutrients between the first, and second or third challenge baskets created.

      Conclusion and Implications

      Overall, evaluation of the CMATS program demonstrated improvement in NK and FSB. Due to high pre-scores, the NK survey questions need revision. Future research will evaluate the program in a larger sample of low-income adults.

      Funding

      East Carolina University Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity Award

      Supplementary data