Online Program

Assessing the Impact of SNAP-Ed Services on Health Behavior of Low-income Residents in Los Angeles County

Monday, November 2, 2015

Katherine Rolfsmeyer, MPH, Nutrition and Physical Activity Program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Mirna Ponce, MPH, MA, County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Emily Caesar, MPH, MSW, Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Jack Thompson, MPH, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Nutrition and Activity Program, LOS ANGELES, CA
Tony Kuo, MD, MSHS, Department of Family Medicine and the David Geffen School Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Brenda Robles, MPH, Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Lisa Arangua, MPP, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Introduction: The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) provides Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (NEOP) programming to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-eligible residents in Los Angeles County. The Department recently selected ten community-based organizations to provide evidence-based nutrition education. Locally, little is known about nutrition education’s impact as part of a larger obesity prevention initiative which currently includes complementary policy, systems and environmental (PSE) interventions. 

Methods: Changes in nutrition-related behavior and perceived access to healthy environments were assessed via self-administered pre/post intervention surveys. The standard survey included the Food Behavior Checklist and a DPH-supplemental module.

Results: Of the 627 adult program participants, 199 completed the pre/post-test surveys. A majority of these participants were female (84%) and Hispanic (77%). The odds of consuming recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables were 2.4 (95% confidence interval =1.6-3.6) and 1.8 (95% confidence interval = 1.0-3.3) times higher post receipt of education than before exposure to the education services, respectively.  Despite these favorable results, 52% were not meeting recommended standards for fruit consumption and 84% were not meeting vegetable standards. Of the 84% who do not meet vegetable consumption standards, 45% believed their neighborhood stores do not sell fresh produce and 55% indicated fresh produce being too expensive. 

Discussion: While results suggest that evidence-based nutrition education contributes to increases in desired health behavior, many respondents struggled to meet consumption standards. When they come to fruition, complementary PSE strategies may help address this and other potential barriers related to healthy food access and consumption. 

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the impact of nutrition education series on participant health behavior. Identify gaps in health behavior outcomes. Discuss potential solutions for increasing desired health behaviors among SNAP-eligible residents of Los Angeles County.

Keyword(s): Evaluation, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present the content of my abstract because I received an MPH in Community Health Education and work for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Program. The focus of my work involves evaluating SNAP-Ed nutrition education and obesity prevention programming efforts.
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.