The purpose of this project was to compare the impact of Internet nutrition education to traditional nutrition education on Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participant fruit and vegetable consumption. Interventions were delivered at 15 WIC clinics after normal WIC clinic operations or delivered online. A total of 692 and 872 participants from eight WIC agencies self-enrolled into two phases. A quasi-experimental design using an interrupted time series to determine the impact of two methods of nutrition education and follow-up nutrition counseling was used. Data were collected online and at Michigan WIC clinics during 2005-2007 at 3-month intervals during a 9-month period (per phase). Two Internet nutrition education modules were compared to WIC traditional nutrition education, which included either group classes or a self-guided nutrition education information mall. All interventions were based on the same program learning objectives. Optional motivational negotiation counseling followed 3 months post-intervention. Stage of change progression, belief in ability to change, and fruit and vegetable consumption were measured at baseline, immediately after the intervention, and 3 and 6 months post-intervention. Significance (P<0.05) was analyzed using independent samples t tests, χ(2) distribution, and sample tests for differences in binomial proportions. The Internet group experienced substantial positive differences in stage of change progression, perception that the intervention was helpful and easy to use, and fruit and vegetable consumption. Traditional nutrition education required follow-up counseling to achieve fruit and vegetable consumption levels similar to the Internet nutrition education group. Based on these findings, this study supports Internet nutrition education as a viable alternative to traditional nutrition education for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in some WIC clients.
Copyright © 2011 American Dietetic Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.