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

39 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.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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

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