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Health Promot Pract. 2007 Apr;8(2):145-53. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Broadcasting behavior change: a comparison of the effectiveness of paid and unpaid media to increase folic acid awareness, knowledge, and consumption among Hispanic women of childbearing age.

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National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Awareness about folic acid's effectiveness in reducing the risk of certain birth defects has increased among women in the United States; however, few Hispanic women are consuming enough folic acid daily. A 1998 survey conducted by the Gallup Organization for the National March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation found that English-speaking Hispanic women had lower folic acid awareness (53% vs. 72%) and lower daily consumption (29% vs. 33%) than non-Hispanic White women. In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted baseline surveys with Spanish-speaking Hispanic women in selected U.S. markets to measure folic acid awareness, knowledge, and consumption. A Spanish-language public service announcement (PSA) volunteer campaign and a paid Spanish-language media and community education campaign were conducted in 2000 and 2002, respectively. Comparisons of postcampaign surveys indicate that the paid media campaign was significantly more effective than the PSA campaign in increasing folic acid awareness, knowledge, and consumption among Spanish-speaking Hispanic women.

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