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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Nutrition education program for food bank clients: A pilot study

item Dave, Jayna
item Chen, Tzu
item Cullen, Karen

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2014
Publication Date: 5/22/2014
Citation: Dave, J., Chen, T.A., Cullen, K. 2014. Nutrition education program for food bank clients: A pilot study [abstract]. International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Conference, May 21-24, 2014, San Diego, California. Poster P290.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Many low income families depend on foods from food banks. The objective of the study was to determine program content and examine feasibility of a pilot nutrition education program for food bank clients. Formative research was conducted with staff at a local food bank and its pantries and adult clients. They helped identify program content and suggested conducting face-to-face group sessions for program delivery. Based on this information, a 6-session program was developed and tested at 6 pantries (4 intervention, 2 control). Participants completed 24-hour food records and questionnaires assessing home food availability, self-efficacy, menu planning and grocery shopping practices, family barriers to eating healthy, purchasing social support, and food preparation practices at pre and post. Analysis of covariance was conducted on nutrients and mediating variables, controlling for baseline measures and other confounders. A total of 67 clients (46 intervention, 20 control) participated in the study. Most were females (80.6%), Black (41.8%) or Hispanic (40.3%); and reported less than high school education (43.3%) and annual incomes < $21,000 (91.0%). Intervention group reported significantly higher consumptions of vegetables, whole grains, total protein, calcium, iron, and sodium, and significantly lower consumption of cakes and desserts than control group. No significant differences were found for mediating variables between the groups. Process data indicated low attendance at the sessions. Findings from this study indicate that food banks could serve as a potential channel to reach low-income high-risk individuals, with nutrition education messages to improve dietary behaviors.