Master of Science (MS)


Human Ecology

Document Type



The purpose of this study was to assess the perception of Louisiana Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program (FSNEP) participants’ diet and other lifestyle measures and their consistency with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid compared to eligible non-participants in Louisiana. The study sample included FSNEP adult participants (Group 1; n=30) and adult non-FSNEP participants (Group 2; n=26) from 5 parishes in Louisiana. Nine focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted with Group 1 (n=5) and Group 2 (n=4) participants. The FGD assessed perceptions and practice in the last six months of: (a) increasing eating fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products intake by one or more serving per day; (b) increasing 30-minute moderate activity by four or more days a week; and (c) balancing energy intake from food with calories expended. Focus group discussions were conducted together with a survey to assess population characteristics. Anthropometric measures taken show no significant difference in body mass index (BMI) (32.5 ± 9.9 standard deviation and 35.8 ± 9.5 standard deviation) and percent body fat (41.9 ± 9.6 standard deviation and 44.1 ± 7.1 standard deviation) between participants and non-participants, respectively. Focus Group Discussion analysis suggested that Group 1 and Group 2 participants exhibited similar lifestyle behaviors mainly by increasing low/non-fat dairy, fruit and vegetable, and whole grain intake in the last six months. Group 1 participants received more nutrition education sessions than Group 2 participants. The latter group received nutrition sessions from non-FNP sources including hospitals, physicians and grocery stores through talks and taste testing. Conversely, Group 1 participants received more nutrition education sessions from the FNP funding. Different community agencies collaborated and a variety of delivery methods were used. Additionally, 4 healthy lifestyle behaviors were observed for Group 1. This study provided the basis for future research to assess the participant’s perception Louisiana FSNEP assistance to make healthy dietary choices and practice a healthy lifestyle.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

O'Neil, Carol



Included in

Human Ecology Commons