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Poor Dietary Guidelines Compliance among Low-Income Women Eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed)

Jun, Shinyoung, Thuppal, Sowmyanarayanan V., Maulding, Melissa K., Eicher-Miller, Heather A., Savaiano, Dennis A., Bailey, Regan L.
Nutrients 2018 v.10 no.3
Dietary Guidelines, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Whites, adults, at-risk population, compliance, food groups, fruits, guidelines, income, low-income population, nutrient density, poverty, vegetables, whole grain foods, women, Indiana
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) program aims to improve nutritional intakes of low-income individuals (<185% poverty threshold). The objective of this study was to describe the compliance with Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendations for fruits, vegetables, and whole grains among SNAP-Ed eligible (n = 3142) and ineligible (n = 3168) adult women (19–70 years) nationwide and SNAP-Ed participating women in Indiana (n = 2623), using the NHANES 2007–2012 and Indiana SNAP-Ed survey data, respectively. Sensitivity analysis further stratified women by race/ethnicity and by current SNAP participation (<130% poverty threshold). Nationally, lower-income women were less likely to meet the fruit (21% vs. 25%) and vegetable (11% vs. 19%) guidelines than higher-income women, but did not differ on whole grains, which were ~5% regardless of income. The income differences in fruit and vegetable intakes were driven by non-Hispanic whites. Fewer SNAP-Ed-eligible U.S. women met fruit (21% vs. 55%) and whole grain (4% vs. 18%) but did not differ for vegetable recommendations (11% vs. 9%) when compared to Indiana SNAP-Ed women. This same trend was observed among current SNAP participants. Different racial/ethnic group relationships with DGA compliance were found in Indiana compared to the nation. Nevertheless, most low-income women in the U.S. are at risk of not meeting DGA recommendations for fruits (79%), vegetables (89%), and whole grains (96%); SNAP-Ed participants in Indiana had higher compliance with DGA recommendations. Increased consumption of these three critical food groups would improve nutrient density, likely reduce calorie consumption by replacing high calorie choices, and improve fiber intakes.