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Examining Internet Access and Social Media Application Use for Online Nutrition Education in SNAP-Ed Participants in Rural Illinois

Authors

Loehmer, E.; Smith, S.; McCaffrey, J.; Davis, J.

Abstract

Objective: To examine Internet access and interest in receiving nutrition education via social media applications among low-income adults participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed). Methods: A cross-sectional survey was distributed during 25 SNAP-Ed classes throughout the 16 southernmost counties of Illinois. Results: From 188 responses, the majority of participants had Internet access (76%). Among participants aged 18–32 years (n = 51), 92% owned a smartphone with Internet access and 57% indicated that they would use online nutrition education, with most interest in e-mail (41%), Facebook (40%), and text messaging (35%). There was little interest in using blogs, Vine, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Overall, 49% of middle-aged adults aged 33–64 years and 87% of seniors aged ≥65 years reported they would not use online nutrition education. Conclusions and Implications: Results indicated similar Internet accessibility in southern Illinois among low-income populations compared with national rural rates. Interest in using online nutrition education varied among SNAP-Ed participants according to age. Young adults appeared to be the most captive audience regarding online nutrition education. Results may be useful to agencies implementing SNAP-Ed to supplement current curriculum with online nutrition education for audiences aged ≤32 years. © 2017 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior

Keywords

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2017.03.010