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P116 Using Facebook to Promote Healthy Eating Behaviors Among Low-income American Caregivers of Young Children

      Background

      The impact of nutrition education-related Facebook pages on the food-related behaviors of low-income caregivers of young children is unknown. Given the popularity of Facebook and the restricted opportunities for off-line activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, assessment of this question could generate important results to shape future interventions.

      Objective

      To evaluate the impact of the Cooking Matters (CM) Facebook page on healthy eating behaviors among low-income caregivers of young children.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      A pre-post survey of new CM Facebook followers in early 2020 was used. A convenience sample was recruited from low-income app users and the CM Facebook page. The baseline survey included 397 low-income caregivers of a child younger than 5 who never followed CM Facebook; 184 of them completed the follow-up survey.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Paired t test and McNemar-Bowker tests were conducted to compare the outcomes before and after following CM Facebook. A binary indicator was developed to measure whether the outcomes were improved (1 = Improved; 0 = Not improved). Multi-variate logistic regressions were applied to examine the relationship between whether the outcome was improved with reference to the baseline socio-demographics.

      Results

      New followers had active exposure to CM Facebook content. About 75% of new followers viewed the CM page at least a few times a week. Additionally, 28.7% of followers commented on CM posts and 48.5% of followers watched CM videos. Approximately 60% of respondents rated CM as having impacted them "somewhat" or "a great deal." Single-parent families were more likely to achieve improvement in attitude toward cooking and younger age caregivers were more likely to achieve improvement in preparing healthy meals with the time available (P < 0.05).

      Conclusion

      The CM Facebook page could be an important platform to improve the attitudes or healthy eating behaviors among certain low-income caregivers of young children.
      Funding Share Our Strength.

      Appendix. Supplementary data