Objective: To examine Internet access and interest in receiving nutrition education via social media applications among low-income adults participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed).
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was distributed during 25 SNAP-Ed classes throughout the 16 southernmost counties of Illinois.
Results: From 188 responses, the majority of participants had Internet access (76%). Among participants aged 18-32 years (n = 51), 92% owned a smartphone with Internet access and 57% indicated that they would use online nutrition education, with most interest in e-mail (41%), Facebook (40%), and text messaging (35%). There was little interest in using blogs, Vine, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Overall, 49% of middle-aged adults aged 33-64 years and 87% of seniors aged ≥65 years reported they would not use online nutrition education.
Conclusions and implications: Results indicated similar Internet accessibility in southern Illinois among low-income populations compared with national rural rates. Interest in using online nutrition education varied among SNAP-Ed participants according to age. Young adults appeared to be the most captive audience regarding online nutrition education. Results may be useful to agencies implementing SNAP-Ed to supplement current curriculum with online nutrition education for audiences aged ≤32 years.
Keywords: Internet access; SNAP-Ed; low-income; nutrition education; social media applications.
Copyright © 2017 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.