Exploring the association of urban or rural county status and environmental, nutrition- and lifestyle-related resources with the efficacy of SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education) to improve food security


Rivera, R.L.; Dunne, J.; Maulding, M.K.; Wang, Q.; Savaiano, D.A.; Nickols-Richardson, S.M.; Eicher-Miller, H.A.


Objective To investigate the association of policy, systems and environmental factors with improvement in household food security among low-income Indiana households with children after a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) direct nutrition education intervention. Design Household food security scores measured by the eighteen-item US Household Food Security Survey Module in a longitudinal randomized and controlled SNAP-Ed intervention study conducted from August 2013 to April 2015 were the response variable. Metrics to quantify environmental factors including classification of urban or rural county status; the number of SNAP-authorized stores, food pantries and recreational facilities; average fair market housing rental price; and natural amenity rank were collected from government websites and data sets covering the years 2012-2016 and used as covariates in mixed multiple linear regression modelling. Setting Thirty-seven Indiana counties, USA, 2012-2016. Subjects SNAP-Ed eligible adults from households with children (n 328). Results None of the environmental factors investigated were significantly associated with changes in household food security in this exploratory study. Conclusions SNAP-Ed improves food security regardless of urban or rural location or the environmental factors investigated. Expansion of SNAP-Ed in rural areas may support food access among the low-income population and reduce the prevalence of food insecurity in rural compared with urban areas. Further investigation into policy, systems and environmental factors of the Social Ecological Model are warranted to better understand their relationship with direct SNAP-Ed and their impact on diet-related behaviours and food security. Copyright © The Authors 2017.


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