Background: Eating competence (EC) has been associated with positive health outcomes such as reduced cardiovascular risk and higher diet quality. This study compared reported physical activity and EC in 512 low-income women participating in an online program that included a physical activity lesson and assessed response to this lesson.
Methods: Educational intervention and surveys were completed online. EC was assessed with the Satter Eating Competence Inventory for Low-Income (ecSI/LI).
Results: Participants were mostly white, <31 years, overweight/obese (60%), and food insecure (58%). EC was higher for those who self-reported being physically active (30.1 ± 8.3 vs. 24.9 ± 8.1; P<0.001) and were active for ≥ 30 minutes/day (29.9 ± 8.3 vs. 26.3 ± 8.6), even with age, weight satisfaction, and BMI controlled. EC of obese physically active persons was higher than normal weight, but physically inactive women. The physical activity module was well received with responses unrelated to time involved or physical activity level.
Conclusions: Low-income women were interested in learning about physical activity and responded positively to online delivery. Overall EC levels were low, but higher for physically active women, supporting efforts to enhance EC. Additional research is needed to determine if EC is associated with responses to physical activity education.