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P127 A Statewide Survey of SNAP Participants: Barriers to Achieving a Healthy Diet

      Background

      Per the SNAP-Ed Guidance, states are required to demonstrate knowledge of the needs of the target population and barriers to accessing healthy foods and physical activity. To help ensure that Nevada's SNAP-Ed plans meet these criteria, a comprehensive needs assessment was conducted in 3 phases from 2016 to 2019. The third and final phase involved a statewide survey of SNAP households.

      Objective

      To measure the opinions of SNAP participants regarding nutrition, food security, and physical activity needs; barriers to making behavioral changes; and preferences for information and assistance.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      A descriptive, cross-sectional survey was conducted among a stratified random sample of Nevada's SNAP participants (n = 1,014). Participants had the option of completing the survey online (42%) or by telephone (58%); and in English (93%) or Spanish (7%).

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Each participant was assigned a weight to ensure that estimates reflected key characteristics of Nevada's SNAP population. Descriptive and inferential statistics were computed using SAS; alpha < .05. Results reported here are limited to 1 survey part.

      Results

      Respondents overwhelmingly agreed (92%) that choosing healthy foods and drinks was important to them. The most common barriers to achieving a healthy diet were cost (52%), the convenience of unhealthy foods (35%), concerns that healthy foods spoil too quickly (32%), peer norms (22%), difficulty in getting to a store that sells healthy options (21%), and time (20%). Regression analysis results revealed that having less than a high school education and living alone were related to a greater number of barriers.

      Conclusions

      Needs assessment results indicate that SNAP participants are interested in choosing healthy foods and drinks but are confronted with barriers. Some of these barriers may be better addressed with direct education, while others through the use of policy, system, and environmental (PSE) approaches. Program development should consider the unique needs of participants living alone and those with limited education.
      Funding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education.

      Appendix. Supplementary data