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Farm-to-Consumer Retail Outlet Use, Fruit and Vegetable Intake, and Obesity Status among WIC Program Participants in Alabama

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Objectives: We studied whether use of farm-to-consumer (FTC) retail outlets (eg, farmers market, farm/roadside stand) was associated with daily fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake or obesity status among women who participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Birmingham, AL. Methods: We used a cross-sectional study design and recruited a convenience sample of 312 women (mean age = 27.6; 67.0% non-Hispanic black; 45.6% obese) participating in Birmingham's WIC Program. Participants were recruited between October 2014 and January 2015. Participants who self-reported purchasing produce from a FTC outlet during the 2014 farmers' market season were classified as FTC outlet users. Multivariable-adjusted regression models were used to examine associations between FTC outlet use, daily F&V intake, and obesity status (ie, body mass index ≥ 30). Results: Approximately 26.1% of participants were classified as FTC outlet users. After adjusting for socio-demographic factors and WIC Cash Value Voucher redemption, FTC outlet use was associated with increased odds of consuming ≥ 5 servings of F&Vs per day (OR: 2.01; 95%: 1.15 – 3.50), but not obesity status (OR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.39 – 1.20). Conclusions: FTC retail outlet use was associated with F&V intake among program participants but not obesity status.
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Keywords: CASH VALUE VOUCHER PROGRAM; FARM-TO-CONSUMER; FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION; OBESITY; WIC PROGRAM

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. [email protected] 2: Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA 3: Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA 4: Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA 5: Department of Economics and Finance, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA 6: Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2016

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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