The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) aims to improve the dietary, physical activity and food resource management behaviors of limited resource individuals to decrease their risk of chronic diseases. Several SNAP-Ed nutrition curricula are known to be effective at changing participants’ short-term behaviors. However, less research has been done to determine the long-term effectiveness of such curricula on behavior change.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the Utah's Create Better Health adult nutrition curriculum 6 months after participants completed the program. Impact on nutrition, physical activity, food safety, and food resource management behaviors were evaluated.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Adult participants (n = 150) in SNAP-Ed classes were contacted via email or phone 6 months after completing a series of 4-8 Create Better Health classes. Participants completed a 24-question retrospective pre-post survey. Survey respondents were asked 24 nutrition, physical activity, and food resource management questions.
Respondents were asked to identify the frequency of behaviors prior to and after participating in the Create Better Health series. Questions included the frequency of making healthy food and physical activity choices consistent with the Dietary and Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Food resource management practices were also assessed. Responses were compared using paired t-tests and effect size was calculated using Cohen's d.
Respondents reported statistically significant improvements in several behaviors 6 months after participating in Create Better Health classes including consuming recommended amounts of fruits (P < .001, r = 1.01), vegetables (P < .001, r = .85), stretching food dollars to last the month (P < .001, r = .56), and being active for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week (P < .001, r = .85).
Utah SNAP-Ed's curriculum, Create Better Health, helps adult participants make and sustain healthy behavior changes for at least six months after participating in classes. This long-term behavior changes may help reduce some of the health disparities often experienced by limited resource individuals.