266808 Examining changes in diet and shopping behaviors resulting from farmers market nutrition incentive and “Fruit and Vegetable Prescription” programs for underserved consumers

Monday, October 29, 2012

Skye Cornell, MBA , Wholesome Wave, Bridgeport, CT
Lydia Oberholtzer, MS , Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, Senior Researcher, Penn State University, Takoma Park, MD
Ashley Fitch, MA , Program Director, Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, Wholesome Wave, Bridgeport, CT
Shikha Anand, MD, MPH , Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Carolyn Dimitri, PhD , Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University, New York, NY
Michelle Zive, MS, RD , Child Development and Community Health, School of Medicine, Principal Investigator, UC San Diego, San Diego, CA
Introduction: Farmers markets have recently attracted a great deal of attention for their potential to provide consumers in rural and urban “food deserts” with fresh fruits and vegetables. Incentive programs targeting federal nutrition benefit customers at markets seek to address the problems of access and affordability for these consumers, and enhance the viability of participating. New “Fruit and Vegetable Prescription” programs are also emerging, linking health care providers and organizations working with farmers markets to provide people at-risk for diet-related diseases with the resources to increase consumption of fresh, locally grown produce. Two related studies will be presented.

Methods: The nutrition incentive study followed 300 dyads (women and their children) at farmers markets San Diego, New York City, and Boston over a 24-week period. The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription program followed approximately 200 participants at 6 sites over a 5-month period. Both studies employed a food frequency questionnaire and shoppers survey throughout the period to examine changes in fruit and vegetable consumption and shopping behavior, as well as usage of incentives/prescriptions at the participating markets.

Results: This poster presentation explores preliminary results from each study undertaken in 2011-12, addressing changes in fruit and vegetable consumption, involvement in the programs, as well as changes in shopping patterns on the part of participants.

Discussion: To date, no research has measured the dietary and behavioral impacts of farmers market incentive programs. These preliminary results will provide researchers, policy makers, and funders with the first evidence of both, and address future research needs.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Describe program implementation Describe study methods Assess changes in diet and shopping behavior on the part of program participants Identify future research needs

Keywords: Access, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I assist in the management of the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program and the Double Value Coupon Program for Wholesome Wave.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.