Learner-centered nutrition education improves folate intake and food-related behaviors in nonpregnant, low-income women of childbearing age.J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Oct; 108(10):1627-35.JA
Recent studies suggest low-income women of childbearing age may be at risk of suboptimal folate intake.
To evaluate the effect of learner-centered nutrition education on folate intake and food-related behaviors among nonpregnant, low-income women of childbearing age, compared to education unrelated to nutrition.
Participants were randomly assigned by recruitment site to receive either the nutrition lesson or a control lesson about resource management.
Nonpregnant, low-income (< or =185% federal poverty level) women of childbearing age (18 to 45 years, n=155) from five California counties.
MAIN OUTCOME VARIABLES
Changes in folate intake and other food-related behaviors.
Analysis of covariance, adjusting for baseline responses and potential confounders.
Adjusting for baseline, participants who received the nutrition education had greater increases in folate intake and use of the Nutrition Facts label than the control group. Change in intake of specific folate-rich foods differed by ethnicity. Participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children who received the nutrition education increased folate intake but had no significant changes in other food-related behaviors. Food stamp recipients who received the nutrition education had no significant changes in folate intake but did increase the frequency of eating more than one kind of vegetable each day, compared to controls.
This study supports the use of learner-centered approaches to nutrition education for low-income audiences, compared to education unrelated to nutrition. Future work is needed to compare learner-centered techniques to traditional pedagogical nutrition education, and to determine whether observed changes from this study persist over the long term.