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Nutrients 2016, 8(9), 562; doi:10.3390/nu8090562

Reaching Low-Income Mothers to Improve Family Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Food Hero Social Marketing Campaign—Research Steps, Development and Testing

1
Extension Family and Community Health, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, 106 Ballard Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
2
College of Business, Oregon State University, 474 Austin Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
3
School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, 103 Milam Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 June 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 31 August 2016 / Published: 13 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Components of Fruits and Vegetables in Human Health)
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to create/test a social marketing campaign to increase fruit/vegetable (FV) intake within Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible families. Focus groups (n = 2) and pre/post campaign phone surveys (n = 2082) were conducted in intervention counties (IC) and one control county. Participants were female (86%–100%) with 1–2 children at home. Mean FV intake/without juice was 3.1 servings/day; >50% preferred the Internet for delivery of healthy eating information. Participants reported time/financial burdens, low household FV variety and desirability of frozen/canned FV, and acceptance of positive messages. A Food Hero (FH) campaign was created/delivered daily August–October 2009 to mothers through multiple channels (e.g., grocery stores, online, educators). Results showed that the IC had better FH name recall (12%) and interpretation of intended messages (60%) vs. control (3%, 23%, respectively). Compared to controls, the IC were less likely to report healthy food preparation as time consuming or a FV rich diet expensive, and it was easier to get their family to eat fruit. Results did not vary based on county/household characteristics. The FH campaign increased FH awareness and positive FV beliefs. A longer campaign with FV assessments will increase understanding of the target audience, and allow for campaign refinement. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-income women; focus group; survey; nutrition; social media; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); audience-centered positive messaging; health behavior messages; canned; frozen low-income women; focus group; survey; nutrition; social media; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); audience-centered positive messaging; health behavior messages; canned; frozen
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tobey, L.N.; Koenig, H.F.; Brown, N.A.; Manore, M.M. Reaching Low-Income Mothers to Improve Family Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Food Hero Social Marketing Campaign—Research Steps, Development and Testing. Nutrients 2016, 8, 562.

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