Target Behavior: Healthy Eating
Intervention Type: Direct Education, Social Marketing, PSE Change
*These Heart Smarts components (health screenings, including blood pressure and BMI; counseling and referrals; and healthy food incentive coupons help participants choose heart-healthy items at the site) are not allowable by SNAP-Ed. Heart Smarts lessons and food tastings can be used without these additional components. Screenings and coupons can be funded by grants or partnered organizations.
Intervention Reach and Adoption
Setting: Community gardens, Farmers markets, School gardens, Child care (Learn), Community (Live), Faith-based community, Food pantries, Health care, Retail (Shop/Eat), School (Learn), USDA program sites (not National School Lunch Program), Worksite (Work)
Target Audience: Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women, Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults, Older Adults, Homeless/Food Pantry Clients
- Nutrition education lessons
- Healthy recipe demonstrations
- Free taste tests
- Free health screenings, including blood pressure and BMI (if available)
- Counseling and referrals provided by trained health professionals (if available)
- Heart Bucks coupons (if available)
- Community outreach, site tours and information about available benefits
After each lesson, a survey is administered, providing the ability to track participants over time. Findings demonstrate that Heart Smarts nutrition lessons improve both the health efficacy and behavioral intent of participants: 89% of participants surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “After today’s lesson, I feel like I know how to make healthy food or drink choices”, and most (80%) planned to make changes to the foods and drinks they buy at the corner store based on the day’s lesson. The Food Trust also monitors environmental changes in the stores over time demonstrating most stores introduced at least 4 new healthy items including at least one fruit or vegetable.
Evidence-based Approach: Practice-tested
|Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST)||Changes – Medium Term (MT)||Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT)||Population Results (R)|
|Sectors of Influence|
- ST1: In 2018, educators in over 50 corner stores working with adults measured intent to change behavior through one-on-one surveying and reported 79% planned to make meals using healthier foods.
- ST2: In 2018, educators in over 50 corner stores working with adults measured intent to change behavior through one-on-one surveying and reported 78% planned to buy healthier foods promoted during nutrition lessons.
- ST7: In 2018, in over 50 corner stores, over 100% of store owners/staff agreed to participate in the Heart Smarts Program by recruiting participants, participating in trainings, and providing space and support for the program. Three active healthcare partners provided screening, counseling, materials, and follow-up services to over 1,500 participants through community benefit dollars.
- MT1: In 2018, in 10 corner stores with screenings, among those customers with elevated blood pressure levels and reached by phone after screening, 43% reported having reduced the amount of sodium consumed.
- MT5: in 2018, in 10 corner stores, 80% added at least 4 new healthy products and 87% added at least one new fruit or vegetable item.