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P86 Impact of Healthy Meal Kits on the Home Food Environment of African Americans with Low Income

      Background

      The Home Food Environment (HFE) consists of the home's physical and the sociocultural environments and plays a key role in the healthfulness of one's diet. No known studies have evaluated the impact of healthy meal kits on the HFE of African American (AA) adults with low income.

      Objective

      To determine the impact of a 6-week healthy meal kit intervention on the HFE of AA adults with low income and with children.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      Participants were recruited for a 6-week healthy meal kit study. Participants received 1 meal kit each week with 3 meals, which included recipe cards, necessary ingredients, a nutrition handout, and a cooking tool. At baseline, all participants completed a demographic survey and the USDA 18-item Food Security Module. Participants also completed the HFE tool at baseline and post, assessing foods available in the home; food preparation tools; grocery shopping practices and frequencies; non-home food sources; eating and screen viewing; cooking self-efficacy, attitudes, and behaviors; and social supports.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Descriptive statistics were used to describe participant demographic and food security information. Linear Mixed-Model analysis with an unstructured covariance was used to analyze significant changes in the HFE survey from baseline to post.

      Results

      Participants (n = 36) were on average 43 years old, female (89%), had some college (47%), and had 2 children living in the home. Low or very low food security was reported by 68% of participants, and 48% of participants had an annual household income of less than $25,000. Eating and screen viewing significantly decreased from baseline to post (P = 0.04). No significant changes were found in any other HFE items.

      Conclusion

      Meal kits may promote a healthy HFE, but additional efforts are needed to improve the overall HFE. Future meal kit studies should should incorporate more education on improving the HFE to see more of an impact.
      Funding University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Office of Research.

      Appendix. Supplementary data