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Fruit and Vegetable, Fat, and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Among Low-Income Mothers Living in Neighborhoods With Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

2016 | Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

This study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, evaluates the effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education (SNAP-Ed) in increasing the quantity of fruits and vegetables consumed by SNAP-Ed participants and decreasing the quantity of consumed sugar-sweetened beverages.

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To examine among low-income mothers the consumption of fruits and vegetables (FV), high-fat foods, and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and overall diet quality in relation to levels of reach of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education (SNAP-Ed) interventions across 2,907 California census tracts.


Cross-sectional telephone survey conducted from April through October, 2014 using the Automated Self-administered 24-Hour Recall dietary assessment.


Mothers or primary caregivers (n = 6,355) from randomly selected SNAP households. The sample was 42.6% Latina, 25.5% white, and 17.6% African American. The response rate was 60.5%.

Main Outcome Measures

Cups of FV; calories from high-fat foods; and cups of SSBs, overall and from items purchased from fast-food restaurants. Overall diet quality was assessed by the Healthy Eating Index–2010.


Linear regression controlling for race/ethnicity and education, with significance at P ≤ .05.


Mothers from high SNAP-Ed reach census tracts ate more cups of FV, consumed fewer calories from high-fat foods, and drank fewer cups of SSBs. Healthy Eating Index–2010 scores did not vary by levels of SNAP-Ed reach.

Conclusions and Implications

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education interventions are related to increased intake of FV and decreased consumption of high-fat foods and SSBs, but not overall diet quality. Future studies should include assessment of physical activity to investigate caloric balance in association with levels of SNAP-Ed interventions.


Authors as listed in journal: Fred Molitor, PhD, Sharon B. Sugerman, MS, RD, Stan Sciortino, PhD, MPH

PHI author

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Center for Wellness and Nutrition