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P144 A Heathy Meal Kit Intervention Improves Subjective Social Status of Rural and Suburban Participants with Low-income

      Background

      The MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status (SSS) is a two-item measure that assesses a participant's perceived rank relative to a group and is positively correlated with a participant's mental and physical health.

      Objective

      To evaluate the impact of a meal kit intervention on SSS of participants with low income in two communities.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      Main preparers of food from rural (n = 40) and suburban (n = 23) communities with low income and at least one child, recruited through local partners, participated in a six-week meal kit intervention. Weekly kits contained three recipes with enough ingredients to feed a family of four. Participants completed a demographic and SSS survey at baseline and post-intervention. Participants ranked themselves on a scale of 1-10 correlating with how highly they perceived themselves as members of their community and society.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      An independent samples t-test was conducted to determine differences in SSS at baseline between communities. A paired samples t-test was used to determine differences between baseline and post-intervention SSS scores for each community.

      Results

      Participants were 46.1 ± 12.8 years, primarily female (88%) and non-Hispanic (98.4%). A majority (85.7%) of participants reported an annual income below $35,000. Overall participant SSS scores improved from baseline to post-intervention from 4.7 ± 1.8 to 5.1 ± 1.7 (P = 0.008) within the community and 4.4 ± 1.7 to 4.9 ± 1.7 (P = 0.049) within society. Rural participant community and society SSS scores improved from baseline to post-intervention (5.1 ± 1.9 to 5.6 ± 1.6; P = 0.008 and 4.6 ± 1.6 to 5.3 ± 1.7; P = 0.024, respectively). Suburban participant SSS scores did not improve.

      Conclusions

      This intervention improved perceived SSS, which was largely driven by rural participants. Rural residents may have less access to resources such as a meal kit program potentially leading to a stronger improvement in SSS. These data suggest that access to a novel food program typically not accessible to SNAP-eligible families may improve perceived social standing and subsequently health outcomes, which warrants further research.

      Funding

      Walmart Foundation

      SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

      Supplementary data related to this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.04.185.

      Appendix. SUPPLEMENTARY DATA