Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 41

P06-020 - Healthy Table: Evaluating the Impact of a Community-based Intervention Combining Culinary Skills and Nutrition Education

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective: To conduct a pilot study evaluating the impact of the Healthy Table program in a predominantly low-income community.

Methods: Adults (N=53) at risk for or presenting with cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes were recruited from the Springfield, Massachusetts community for participation in a structured, 7 week hands-on health education program. A Registered Dietitian and chef team-taught the 90-minute sessions each week. The intervention included sessions in knife skills and food preparation, cooking demonstrations, nutrition education, a grocery store tour, and a graduation (where participants prepared healthy recipes to showcase their new skills). Anthropometrics, blood pressure, nutrition/cooking knowledge, attitude, behavior and belief (KABB) survey data were collected before and 3 months after the program. Paired sample t-tests were used to compare pre vs post intervention data.

Results: Participants were predominantly female (83%) with a median age of 57. Family income was below $50,000/year for 46%, with 9% receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Participants self-reported multiple chronic disease diagnoses including overweight/obesity (88.7%), hypertension (54.7%), and type 2 diabetes (30%). Preliminary analyses show a significant decrease (pre vs post) in diastolic blood pressure (80.0 vs 77.1 mg Hg, p<0.05). Significant improvements occurred in cooking knowledge (32% increase in knowing how to combine ingredients into tasty meals, p < 0.001) and cooking attitudes (15% increase in cooking enjoyment, p<0.05; 13% increase in confidence in following written recipes, p<0.01). Nutrition/cooking behaviors improved with increased frequency of food label use (46% increase in nutrition facts panel use, p<0.01; 31% increase in ingredients list use, p<0.05). The frequency of healthy cooking methods increased including stir fry (56% increase, p<0.05), grilling (42% increase, p<0.01), roasting (29% increase, p<0.05), and stewing (44% increase, p<0.01).

Conclusions: The 7-week Healthy Table intervention was associated with improved health indicators and nutrition/cooking KABB among a high-risk adult population. Ongoing quantitative and qualitative analyses are further evaluating the impact of the Healthy Table program.

CoAuthors: Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D. – Health Literacy Media; Caitlin Maish – Health Literacy Media; M. Susan Guyer, DPE, ATC, CSCS, CES, EI – Springfield College; Catina O'Leary, Ph.D., LMSW – Health Literacy Media; Mary-Beth Cooper, Ph.D., D.M. – Springfield College

Donna J. Chapman

Associate Professor
Springfield College
Springfield, Massachusetts