Nutrition knowledge and associated behavior changes in a holistic, short-term nutrition education intervention with low-income women

Claire Rustad, Chery Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the impact of a short-term nutrition intervention using education on acomprehensive array of nutrition and health topics in low-income women. Design: Pre- and postintervention surveys; 1 study condition (intervention group); experiential learning; pilot testing of education sessions. Setting: Community centers, homeless shelters, or University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis-St Paul metropolitan area. Participants: Ethnically diverse, low-income women (n = 118), 23-45 years of age. Intervention: Three educational sessions providing a comprehensive curriculum of nutrition and health education via experiential and interactive lectures, activities, and demonstrations. One week to implement knowledge and behavioral changes, and pre- and postsurvey sessions to collect anthropometric data and evaluate changes in knowledge and behavior. Main Outcome Measures: Health benefits of all food groups; identification of healthful foods; shopping, cooking, and gardening; and energy balance. Analysis: Paired t tests, Pearson correlations. Results: Postintervention increases in nutrition knowledge and favorable nutrition behavioral changes (P< .05). Conclusions and Implications: A short-term nutrition intervention using comprehensive nutrition andhealth education through experiential and interactive lessons, activities, and demonstrations has the capacity to increase nutrition knowledge and favorably change nutrition behaviors in a sample of low-income women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-498
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded through the US Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education . The authors thank all of the women who participated in this study. They also thank Amanda C. Martin, Lisa Franzen-Castle, Kristen Wiig Dammann, and Urvashi Mulasi for assistance with the project. Furthermore, the authors thank Johan Dirks, PhD, who provided valuable statistical guidance and consultation.


  • Education
  • Intervention
  • Lifestyle
  • Low-income
  • Nutrition


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