Employing Specific Indicators to Evaluate Maryland's Text2BHealthy Program

Employing Specific Indicators to Evaluate Maryland's Text2BHealthy Program

State:Maryland. Agency Type: University. Food and Nutrition Service Region: Mid-Atlantic.

' 97% of participants reported healthy behaviorsThe University of Maryland SNAP-Ed program developed Text2BHealthy, a text message–based program for parents that reinforces nutrition information and behaviors their children are learning in school SNAP-Ed programs. On average, Text2BHealthy is implemented in 15 Maryland elementary schools and reaches over 2,000 parents annually. Parents who participate in Text2BHealthy are surveyed before and after the program about grocery shopping habits; familial eating and physical activity behaviors; and home nutrition environment characteristics. Real-time evaluation is also done through texted questions, which assess parents’ responses to previous educational messages. The data collection is used to provide information on program relevance and applicability as well as to explore whether text messaging, alone and in combination with in-school SNAP-Ed youth programming, is associated with improved health outcomes among participating families. The results have informed message content and delivery and have also encouraged program expansion and replication by other agencies. The evaluation of Text2BHealthy is part of a comprehensive parent-wide evaluation plan that capitalizes on indicators offered by the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework. Specifically, it assesses both individual behavior changes (indicators MT1 and MT3) and organizational adoption of healthy supports (indicators MT5 and MT6).

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