The objective is to evaluate CalFresh Healthy Living, UC single sessions to capture behavioral intentions and useful programmatic information about SNAP-Ed participant behaviors and readiness for change.
Use of Theory or Research
Behavioral intention plays a central role in action according to the Theory of Planned Behavior. Single sessions target a specific diet, food resource management (FRM), or physical activity (PA) topic to promote positive changes in intentions and help prompt improvements in behavior. Behavioral studies have shown that asking an individual whether they intend to practice a behavior can increase the likelihood they will do so.
Low-income SNAP-Ed eligible adults (n = 7,092) who participated in single session workshops offered at a wide range of community settings across 25 counties in California. Most participants were women (82%) and Hispanic/Latino (63%).
Cooperative Extension community educators delivered nutrition, FRM and PA workshops using SNAP-Ed approved curricula to groups of adults. Sessions were typically an hour or less.
In 2018-2019, educators evaluated workshops at the end of the session by administering 1 or more of the 16 Intent to Change (ITC) surveys. Each ITC focuses on a single diet, FRM or PA behavior with 2 questions: current behavior and future intentions. Participants reported frequency of practicing a specific behavior in the last week and intent over the next week. Data analysis included current behaviors and future intentions of those not currently practicing the healthy behavior.
SNAP-Ed workshop participants’ current behaviors related to sugar sweetened beverages, fast and fried food, and FRM were least likely to align with recommended health behaviors. Of those not currently practicing promoted behaviors, 40-100% reported intentions to improve their behaviors.
Single sessions can shape positive behavioral intentions related to diet, FRM, and PA. ITC surveys also provide useful insight for prioritizing education topics that deserve greater emphasis given participants’ current behaviors.