Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Alison Gustafson


Food insecurity and diet quality are concerns in low-income populations, contributing to high rates of obesity. Food management skills may enable low-income populations to obtain a healthy food supply rather than relying on less expensive and less nutritious foods to fill their diets. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between food management practices and diet quality in SNAP-ED/EFNEP participants. This study examines the association between food management behaviors and dietary outcomes (Healthy Eating Index totals, total calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber, and servings of fruits, vegetables, milk, and meats/beans) as measured by the Behavior Checklist and diet information collected by Extension Program assistants for 1,585 participants in Kentucky counties (n=57) during 2010-2011. The results of the cross-sectional analysis suggest that food management practices can help low-income SNAP-ED and EFNEP participants obtain more food for their families. However, diet quality was only improved for the variable ‘healthy foods,’ (participants who responded that they thought about healthy foods when deciding what to feed their families). It was concluded that an integrated approach of food management practices and nutrition education is needed to improve diet quality for low-income populations.