Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences
Public Health Sciences with a specialization in Health Promotion, PhD
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Nutrition; Fruit and Vegetable Consumption; Self-efficacy; Low-income
Objective: To examine how participation in nutrition education programs, self-efficacy to consume fruit and vegetables and predictor of behavior to eat health foods (POB) influences the consumption of fruit and vegetables for low-income women in west Kentucky eligible or participating in federal supplemental nutrition assistance programs. Methods: A comparative study was conducted between low-income women participating in Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program for Women and Children (WIC) and those eligible for SNAP but were not participating. The study examined consumption in six categories of fruit and vegetables, self-efficacy to consume fruit and vegetables, predictor of behavior to eat healthy foods (POB). Participants: Three hundred and twenty low-income women eligible for SNAP benefits participated in the study in two groups, WIC participants (n=160) and non-WIC (n=160). Dependent Variables: Dependent Variable: Fruit and Vegetable Consumption (fruit juice, fruit, dark green vegetables, beans, orange vegetables, and other vegetables). Independent Variables: Self-Efficacy to consume fruit and vegetables, Predictor of Behavior (POB) and Nutrition Education. Analysis: Correlational analyses determined the relationship between variables. Independent sample t-tests examined differences between WIC and Non-WIC groups in six categories of fruit and vegetable consumption, Predictor of Behavior, and self-efficacy to consume fruit and vegetables. Results: Bivariate correlations indicated a positive relationship between self-efficacy to consume fruit and vegetables with each of the six consumption categories for fruit and vegetables (fruit juice, fruit, dark green vegetables, beans, orange colored vegetables and other vegetables). Although all of the correlations were positive (fruit juice p= .0003, fruit, p= .0001, beans, p=.0047, dark green vegetables, p=.0007, orange vegetables, p=.0001, and other vegetables, p=.0001), none were strong correlations. Predictor of behavior to eat healthy foods (POB) also had significant correlations in five of the six consumption categories (fruit juice, p=.0003, fruit, p=.0001, dark green vegetables, p=.032, orange vegetables, p=.0001, and other vegetables, p=.0001. Total nutrition education participation (WIC, SNAP-Ed, EFNEP, or other nutrition education) produced only one positive significant correlation with fruit juice (p=.006). T-tests on differences in fruit and vegetable consumption between WIC participants and non-WIC participants indicated only two of the six consumption categories reported significant differences (fruit juice, p=.0008 and fruit, p=.0001). Additional t-tests reported differences in mean scores to consume fruit and vegetables in difficult situations between WIC and non-WIC groups in POB to eat healthy foods (p=.0005) and self-efficacy (p=.001). Conclusions and Implications: Participation in the WIC program is associated with higher consumption amounts of fruit juice and fruit. This conclusion could be attributed to the nutrition education that participants receive from participating in the program. This conclusion could also be attributed to the assistance received, which includes vouchers used to purchase fruit juice, fruit, and vegetables. Additional research should focus on usage of vouchers related to fruit and vegetable consumption. Future research of nutrition education within the WIC program could provide a better understanding of the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and nutrition education by the WIC program. Self-efficacy to consume fruit and vegetables in difficult situations proved to be more likely for individuals who participated in WIC.
McNeal, Lewatis Darnell, "The influence of nutrition education and self-efficacy on fruit and vegetable consumption for low-income women in rural west Kentucky." (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2411.