Using Interactive Text Messaging to Improve Diet Quality and Increase Redemption of Foods Approved by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children: Protocol for a Cohort Feasibility Study.
BACKGROUND: Children in the United States eat too few fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and too many energy-dense foods; these dietary behaviors are associated with increased risk of obesity. Maternal diet plays a key role in shaping children's diets; however, many mothers have poor diet quality, especially those living in low-income households. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federal nutrition assistance program that provides mothers and children with nutrient-dense foods, and those who participate have better diet quality. However, many mothers do not redeem all their WIC-approved foods. Thus, there is a need to create effective interventions to improve diet quality, especially among low-income children and families. OBJECTIVE: This paper aims to describe the development and protocol for a study to evaluate the feasibility, satisfaction, and preliminary efficacy of a fully automated text messaging intervention as a strategy to improve maternal diet quality and the redemption of WIC-approved foods. METHODS: We describe the use of the framework developed for the description of nonrandomized feasibility studies. Using an observational, prospective cohort study design, we will recruit mothers enrolled in WIC with a child aged ≤2 years. Participants will receive automated SMS text messages aimed at improving the redemption of WIC-approved foods to improve the participants' diet quality for 12 weeks. All outcome measures will be analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Qualitative data will be analyzed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Data collection for this study began in March 2021. We expect the study results to be available within 9 months of study commencement. The results will shed light on the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of using automated text messages as a behavior change strategy for mothers enrolled in WIC. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this pilot study will explore whether this digital behavioral intervention, which will deliver nutrition guidance in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans using interactive self-monitoring and feedback, is feasible and acceptable. This will lay the foundation for a larger evaluation to determine efficacy for improving diet quality in those most at risk for obesity. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04098016; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04098016. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/32441.
Kay, MC; Hammad, NM; Herring, SJ; Bennett, GG
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