The effect of the SPIN (Strength and Power in Nutrition) nutrition education intervention on food and beverage purchase decision-making and behaviors among low -income tweens
Objective. The purpose of these studies was to examine the influence of the SPIN (Strength and Power in Nutrition) nutrition education intervention on the food and beverage purchasing decision-making processes and behaviors of 11-14 year old low-income tweens in "hot" (high emotional stimulation) and "cold" (low emotional stimulation) situations.
Methods. Participants were taken to the grocery store and given two dollars to spend on three consecutive weeks before and three consecutive weeks after the intervention. Each participant was given a tape recorder, instructed to think aloud while making their purchase selections, and to write down the reason for their purchases after shopping. Participants returned receipts for their purchases. Tweens shopped alone on weeks one and three and with a friend on week two. They also completed questionnaires on nutrition knowledge and perceived influences on food decision-making both pre- and post-intervention.
Setting. The study took place at an after-school program at a Western Massachusetts Boys and Girls Club and a grocery store across the street.
Participants. Participants included seventeen ethnically diverse, low-income tweens. However, only twelve out of seventeen completed both qualitative and quantitative assessments.
Analysis. Food and beverage decision-making themes and outcomes were compared during various levels of "cold" and "hot" situations using scores on questionnaires (quantitative), nutritional quality of purchases (quantitative) and thematic analysis (qualitative).
Results. There were significant differences in NNR (Naturally Nutrient Rich) scores post intervention compared to baseline. There were significant differences in NNR scores between tweens who scored high and those who scored low or did not answer the nutrition attitudes section of the nutrition knowledge survey post-intervention. Certain themes, including cost, health, mood, and taste were similar in both "cold" and "hot" situations, but external influences on purchases, such as peer influence were only present in "hot" situations.
Conclusions and Implications. The SPIN intervention resulted in decision-making and behavior change in "hot" situations. There are minor differences in decision-making processes and purchasing behaviors in "hot" and "cold" situations among tweens. Additional studies with larger sample sizes assessing food and beverage purchase decision-making behavior in "hot" versus "cold" situations are needed.
Decision making models;
Low income groups;