Online Program

Advancing nutrition education in the WIC program: Results from a mobile “app” pilot project

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Loan Pham Kim, PhD, RD, Nutritional Sciences, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
Shannon E. Whaley, PhD, Research and Evaluation Unit, PHFE-WIC, Irwindale, CA
Taylor Whited, B.S., Natural Science Division, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
As technology advances, users are shifting towards more frequent use of mobile phones as tools for online learning. With these advances, there is demand for health educators to develop new platforms for learning which are tailored to individual needs.  WIC is a national program that reaches more than 8.5 million low-income mothers and children monthly and provides valuable nutrition education to their participants.   The PHFE WIC Program is the largest local WIC agency in the country, serving approximately 4% of the nation’s total and 23% of California’s total WIC participants.  PHFE WIC seeks to continually improve the delivery of online nutrition education.  Preliminary data of online nutrition education in the PHFE-WIC program in CA from 2011-2014 found a significant shift from desktop computers to mobile devices as platforms for online nutrition education, with over 50% of participants using mobile devices. Use of an iPhone/Apple device increased from 18.5% in 2013 to 24% so far in 2014, while android device use was over 33% in 2013 and 2014.  With more than 50% of participants utilizing mobile devices to access nutrition education, we are piloting an online nutrition education project to compare the use of a mobile phone “app” with the current online presentation platform.  The “app” incorporates videos as interactive forms of learning, with the goal of increasing the efficacy of the traditional platform. We will discuss the development of the “app” and present findings from pre- and post-surveys, focus groups, and discuss implications for future nutrition education with mobile “apps”.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Explain the development process of a mobile “app” for teaching nutrition education. Describe the barriers to using mobile “app” technology to access nutrition education in the WIC program.

Keyword(s): Maternal and Child Health, WIC

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI on the study. I have managed the development of the app, data collection and analysis of study results and preparation of manuscript for publication.
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.