Poster Topical Area: Nutrition Education and Behavioral Sciences

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 166

E12-04 - Effect of User Profile Characteristics on Engagement in an Online WIC Nutrition Education Program

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between user profile characteristics and engagement in, an online nutrition education program. is a theoretically-driven intervention consisting of over 50 parent-child feeding and other related nutrition behavior change focused lessons implemented as part of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in 30 states.

All 70,612 users that both completed lesson and profile items during the 2017 fiscal year were included for analysis. A retrospective cohort design stratified users by race, ethnicity, education level, age group, and device used to access the site. Nonparametric Chi-square tests assessed the significance of the difference in engagement level for each stratum with the greatest deviation from the overall group compared to the remaining strata. Engagement was measured as whether users shared, favorited, or liked an educational resource during the lesson.

A significant variation in engagement level was identified for profile items. Users less likely to engage included race reported as white (X2=210.2; p<0.00001) and younger age groups, especially 18-24 (X2=117.5; p<0.00001). Those found more likely to engage included Latino ethnicity (X2=832.0; p<0.00001); lower education levels, especially those not finishing high school (X2=11,017.1; p<0.00001); and use of a mobile device for lesson completion (X2=477.2; p<0.00001). Engagement was not associated with user belief in the ability to make changes using what was learned (R2=0.02), nor was it associated with whether those beginning in an earlier stage of change (i.e., preparation, contemplation, precontemplation) progressed following lesson completion (R2=0.03).

Results from this study provide online nutrition education developers, especially those working with lower income parent-child feeding behaviors, with insight as to the potential level of engagement based on user characteristics. In particular, higher engagement among lower educated, Latino, and mobile device users could serve as an indication of commitment to which these users attempted to assess the value of and be willing to share with others the resources found to be relevant to learning.

Funding Source: CFDA 10.557 flow through funds provided to partner states from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

CoAuthors: John Brusk, MPH – Western Michigan University

Robert J. Bensley

Western Michigan University
Kalamazo, Michigan