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The objective of this program was to evaluate a SNAP-Ed mobile text message intervention to encourage low-income adults to drink more water and less sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).
Use of Theory or Research
A comprehensive needs assessment, including a literature review and qualitative focus groups and interviews with low-income adults informed the development of the intervention, including text message content, tone, key messages, frequency, and graphics. The complementary theories of the Health Belief Model and Adult Learning Theory supported the design and evaluation of the texting intervention.
The target audience for the text message intervention were SNAP eligible adults in Georgia.
Participants received between 2-3 text messages per week over a six-week period in July-August of 2020 and 2021 that encouraged drinking more water and less SSBs. The 2021 intervention was part of a comprehensive Social Marketing campaign focusing on healthy beverages.
Qualitative focus groups and interviews were conducted virtually with participants (n = 23) and a post-intervention online survey (n = 38) was administered to assess the program's impact on participants’ consumption of more water and less SSBs and glean feedback to inform development of the campaign.
There was an overall positive reaction to the texting campaigns, and participants reported sharing texts with family and friends. Text messages related to fruit-infused water recipes, a urine hydration check-in and related graphics were highly rated. Suggested changes included adding more detail to recipes, extending campaign length, and a desire for more connection to community and focus on overall well-being as it relates to drinking more water and less SSBs. The majority of texting participants reported that they set a goal to drink fewer sugary beverages (89.5%), and they drank fewer sugary drinks (76.3%) due to texts.
Text message interventions to promote drinking more water and less SSBs are a feasible and effective way to offer healthy beverage education at a distance with low-income audiences.
© 2022 Published by Elsevier Inc.