269532 Online Tools: Increase Access of Low-Income Moms to Relevant and Realistic Messages

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Judy F. Wilson, MSPH, RD , Food & Nutrition Service, Office of Research and Analysis, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA
Paul McConaughy McConaughy, MA , Michigan Fitness Foundation, Michigan Nutrition Network, Lansing, MI
Catherine S. Copley , Planning & Research, Porter Novelli Public Services, Washington, DC
Joyce Patterson, MPH , University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Particia Jordan, RD, CDN , Bureau of Supplemental Food Programs; N.Y.S. Department of Health, NYS WIC Nutrition Coordinator, Albany, NY
Linda Melcher, MS, RD , Nutrition Education Consultant, Laramie, WY
The technology gap is decreasing, creating new opportunities to reach low income populations and improve their access to health information including new dietary guidance. In 2010 and 2011, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service conduct focus groups with low income mothers in six locations across the country. Focus group participants were culturally diverse mothers living in households with incomes at or below 185% of poverty. These focus groups captured information on household food practices, nutrition knowledge and beliefs of mothers, feedback on nutrition message concepts and provided insights into the information seeking behaviors and preferences of these mothers. These insights were used to develop communication concepts for conveying key nutrition messages to mother which were subsequently tested. This session will describe key findings from this research including where mothers expect to find nutrition information, preferences, their access to and use of the internet and other technologies as well as websites they visit. The research findings and stakeholder input informed development of new online communication tools including three rollover widgets addressing whole grains, low fat milk and child feeding methods that foster healthy eating skills in young children. The new online tools convey the messages and actionable tips in a format that mothers found appealing, and accessible. Online education tools can increase the reach of health messages targeting low-income mothers. The presentation presents the online tools, web trends and feedback from health professionals.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the key research findings regarding the information seeking behaviors and preferences of low-income moms, their feedback on various communication tool concepts and how USDA used this information in the development process. Identify ways to integrate the audience-tested communication tools and related materials into education, counseling and health promotion activities. Discuss and apply the process used in developing these resources in practice.

Keywords: Technology, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as the Project Officer for this research for the past two years. I have worked as a Nutritionist for the Federal government nutrition assistance programs for over 30 years holding a variety of positions. I am a longstanding active APHA member. In addition to numerous presentations at the APHA conference, I often present at other national, state and federal meetings.
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.