ST1: Healthy Eating

Framework Component

Readiness & Capacity – Goals and Intentions

Indicator Description

Individual intentions and goals that serve as motivators to behavior changes recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Background and Context

Indicator ST1 measures changes in intentions and goals resulting from a one-time lesson or a series of direct nutrition education classes with SNAP-Ed adults and youth. Depending on the setting and time availability, surveys and questions noted below may be conducted in a pre- and post-test design or in a post-test only design, such as used in the University of California (UC) CalFresh Intent to Change surveys. Some of the questions will need to be updated to reflect the latest dietary guidelines. For example, changing servings to cups and adding fruit juice limits for children in certain age groups will be necessary. Using multiple measures of intent and goal setting strengthens the likelihood of determining that participants are motivated to improve their healthy eating practices. At present, there is no standardized survey instrument or composite score used in SNAP-Ed programming because of the variety of curricula and population subgroups served. Evaluators are encouraged to measure the degree of correlation among the individual measures presented in this indicator. Results may be limited due to self-report biases (e.g., recall and social desirability).

Outcome Measures

The number or percentage of participants who set goals or intent to change the following healthy eating behaviors:

Five Food Groups. Intention or goal setting related to eating from the five food groups throughout the day:

ST1a. Fruit
ST1b. Vegetables
ST1c. Lean proteins
ST1d. Whole grains
ST1e.  Low-fat or fat-free dairy

Messaging. Intent to change or setting goals for any of the following Dietary Guidelines messages:

ST1f. Find your healthy eating style and maintain it for a lifetime.
ST1g.  Make half your plate fruits and vegetables—vary your veggies.

  • Try adding fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables to salads, sides, and main dishes.
  • Choose a variety of colorful veggies prepared in healthful ways: steamed, sautéed, roasted,
    or raw.
ST1h.  Make half your plate fruits and vegetables—focus on whole fruits.

  • Choose whole fruits—fresh, frozen, dried, or canned in 100 percent juice.
  • Enjoy meals with fruit as snacks, with meals, or as a dessert.
ST1i. Make half your grains whole grains.

  • Look for whole grains listed first or second on the ingredients list—try oatmeal, popcorn,
    whole-grain bread, and brown rice.
  • Limit grain desserts and snacks, such as cakes, cookies, and pastries.
ST1j. Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt.

  • Choose fat-free milk, yogurt, and soy beverages (soy milk) to cut back on saturated fat.
  • Replace sour cream, cream, and regular cheese with low-fat yogurt, milk, and cheese.
ST1k. Vary your protein routine.

  • Mix up your protein foods to include seafood, beans and peas, unsalted nuts and seeds, soy products, eggs, and lean meats and poultry.
  • Try main dishes made with beans or seafood, like bean chili or tuna salad.
  • Choose fresh poultry, seafood, pork, and lean meat, rather than processed meat and poultry.
ST1l. Drink water instead of sugary beverages.
ST1m. Reduce sodium consumption.
ST1n. Cut back on foods high in solid fats and added sugars.
ST1o. Choose vegetable oils instead of butter, and oil-based sauces and dips instead of ones with butter, cream, or cheese.

What to Measure

SNAP-Ed participants who indicate an intent to change or set behavior change goals related to the benefits from consuming each of the five food groups that compose MyPlate, reduction of unhealthy sugary beverages consumption, and/or changes consistent with the key Dietary Guidelines messages.

Choose at least one outcome measure from the list provided, and select a measurement approach based on the type of survey questions and responses. The example surveys and sample questions listed below can be used to measure post-test only responses of intent or for matched pre- and post-test outcome measurements of intent and goals by age group. The measures reflect the Transtheoretical model (Stages of Change).

For a description on ordinal and nominal outcomes, please see Appendix F.

Population

Adults, adolescents, and children (grades 3–12)

Surveys and Data Collection Tools

ADULTS

http://ucanr.edu/sites/ceprogramevaluation/files/113712.pdf

Mark one [ST1h]

  • I am not thinking about eating more fruit.
  • I am thinking about eating more fruit…planning to start within 6 months.
  • I am definitely planning to eat more fruit in the next month.
  • I am trying to eat more fruit now.
  • I am already eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day.

Mark one [ST1g]

  • I am not thinking about eating more vegetables.
  • I am thinking about eating more vegetables…planning to start within 6 months.
  • I am definitely planning to eat more vegetables in the next month.
  • I am trying to eat more vegetables now.
  • I am already eating 3 or more servings of vegetables per day.
 “Are you interested in changing your eating behaviors [Insert specific Healthy Eating behavior]?”
“Are you thinking about changing your eating behaviors [Insert specific Healthy Eating behavior]?”
“Are you ready to change your eating behaviors [Insert specific Healthy Eating behavior]?”
“Are you in the process of changing your eating behaviors [Insert specific Healthy Eating behavior]?”
“Are you trying to maintain changes in your eating behaviors [Insert specific Healthy Eating behavior]?”

  1. Yes, I have been for MORE than 6 months.
  2. Yes, I have been for LESS than 6 months.
  3. No, but I intend to in the next 30 days.
  4. No, but I intend to in the next 6 months.
  5. No, and I do NOT intend to in the next 6 months.

Scoring

  • Choice #1: stage = Maintenance
  • Choice #2: stage = Action
  • Choice #3: stage = Preparation
  • Choice #4: stage = Contemplation
  • Choice #5: stage = Precontemplation


Another Example:

  • How likely is it that you will eat low fat or fat free dairy products regularly (2-3 servings a day) for the next month?
  • How many servings of dairy products do you plan to eat for the next month?

Responses range from never/rarely to more than 3 servings a day. Intention was defined as the summated score of the 2 items.

Adapted from Kim K, Reicks M, Sjoberg S. Applying the theory of planned behavior to predict dairy product consumption by older adults. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2003;35:294-301

CHILDREN & YOUTH

For fruit [ST1h]

  1. I don’t think about eating fruit and I don’t eat fruit.
  2. I don’t think about eating fruit, but eat it because my mom makes me.
  3. I think about eating fruit but don’t.
  4. I think about eating fruit but eat them only when my mom reminds me.
  5. I think about eating fruit and plan to start.
  6. I try to eat fruit every day.

For vegetables [ST1g]

  1. I don’t think about eating vegetables and I don’t eat vegetables.
  2. I don’t think about eating vegetables, but eat them because my mom makes me.
  3. I think about eating vegetables but don’t.
  4. I think about eating vegetables, but eat them only when my mom reminds me.
  5. I think about eating vegetables and plan to start.
  6. I try to eat vegetables every day.

(Cullen & Bartholmew, et al. 1998)

Additional evaluation tools to measure ST1 can be found in the SNAP-Ed Library.

Key Glossary Terms

Additional Resources or Supporting Citations

Campbell MK, Reynolds KD, Havas S, et al. Stages of change for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among adults and young adults participating in the national 5-a-Day for Better Health community studies. Health Educ Behav 1999; 26: 513–34.

Cullen KW, Bartholomew LK, Parcel GS, Koehly L. Measuring stage of change for fruit and vegetable consumption in 9- to 12-year-old girls. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 1998;21:241–254.

Savoie M, Mispireta M, Rankin L, Neill K, LeBlanc H, Christofferson D. Intention to Change Nutrition-Related Behaviors in Adult Participants of a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education. Journal Of Nutrition Education & Behavior [serial online]. January 2015;47(1):81-85. Available from: Academic Search Alumni Edition, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 15, 2016.