To conduct an exploratory formative evaluation of a culturally adapted nutrition education program for SNAP-eligible Hispanic/Latino adult Georgians
Use of Theory or Research
Nutrition education programs for low-income Hispanics/Latinos must be culturally tailored to be effective.
Spanish-speaking SNAP-eligible adult Georgians
“Hablemos de Comida: Comida: “Por SU Salud!” (HCPSS) is a cultural adaptation of “Food Talk: Better U,” an evidence-based program focusing on healthy weight management by University of Georgia SNAP-Ed. A comprehensive needs assessment informed systematic translation and cultural tailoring. The program consists of four 90-minute didactic lessons taught by bilingual paraprofessionals focusing on portion control, limiting added sugar, and making small healthy changes. The program content is interactive and features physical activity using culturally appropriate music and 6 Hispanic/Latino-inspired, low sodium recipes.
A mixed-method formative evaluation was conducted using self-administered participant surveys (n = 15), program administrative data, key informant interviews with program developers and providers (n = 6), program participant focus groups (n = 3), and in-class observations (n = 10) in 1 pilot county in 2019.
Focus group and key informant interview findings suggested acceptability and cultural appropriateness of HCPSS. Major themes from development and implementation phases emphasized the importance of attending to diversity and cultural appropriateness for target audiences and language, translation, and other interpersonal facilitator skills such as cultural competence and humility. A team-based approach was recommended to address cultural diversity, recruitment barriers, ongoing staff training needs, and other population-specific barriers regarding language, literacy, and mistrust. Administrative data and class observation data suggested high fidelity but the importance of fully bilingual paraprofessionals and additional training for physical activity.
Conclusion and Implications
This study found that the culturally adapted nutrition education and obesity prevention programming targeted to low-income Hispanics/Latinos and strategies to strengthen ongoing development and implementation efforts was feasible.