MSU UARC is shutting down effective June 30, 2021. We are no longer taking on new projects.

Michigan Nutrition Network

This grant, funded by the USDA and the Michigan Nutrition Network, assessed the usability and accessibility of nutrition education delivered to blind and low vision participants who are eligible for the food stamp program (FSP) via the Web-based MyPyramid Tracker resource. The related objective was to assess whether using MyPyramid Tracker would increase self-reports of healthier eating and increased levels of physical activity among blind and low vision adults. We performed a three-month field research study with visually impaired FSP-eligible adults on the effectiveness of the MyPyramid Tracker website to administer nutrition education programs, improve/increase healthy eating habits, and increase levels of physical activity. We also conducted a formal usability evaluation of the MyPyramid Tracker user interface with visually impaired FSP-eligible adults to assess its effectiveness, efficiency, and accessibility for these users. Outcomes included increasing awareness of nutrition education resources among visually impaired FSP-eligible adults; however, the availability of the tool alone did not significantly impact healthy eating and physical activity habits among the participants. The study helped us gain a much better understanding about weight management intervention research techniques.

  • Sarah Swierenga (PI) Constantinos Coursaris (Co-PI) and Pamela Whitten (Co-PI)
  • Grant funder: US Dept. of Agriculture and the Michigan Nutrition Network


  • Coursaris, C. K., Swierenga, S. J., & Whitten, P. (2014). Usability and Accessibility of E-Health Websites: Enabling Nutrition and Physical Activity Education for Blind and Low Vision Internet Users. In D. Yannacopoulos, P. Manolitzas, N. Matsatsinis, & E. Grigoroudi (eds.), Evaluating Web Sites and Web Services: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in User Satisfaction. (pp. 204-223). IGI Global.
  • Swierenga, S. J., Coursaris, C. K., Whitten, P., Pierce, G. L., & Roberts, H. E. (2008). Usability and accessibility of nutrition information for blind and low vision Internet users. Poster presentation at the World Usability Day / Sixth Annual Usability and Accessibility Conference. Michigan State University.