Sesame Street may help kids make healthy choices

Nov. 18, 2013, daily Rx

Parents might try to feed their kids healthy food at home, but those children often will eventually be responsible for making their own healthy choices.

Researchers behind a new study wanted to explore the effectiveness of educating children about health at a very young age.

The study looked at a group of preschool children and found that three years after an educational program using Sesame Street characters, their knowledge of and attitudes toward a healthy lifestyle had improved.

The researchers behind this new study, led by Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., director of Mount Sinai Heart at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, wanted to explore how educational programs for preschoolers might promote good dietary behavior, physical activity, and healthy weight in the long-term. Continue reading

Study shows nutrition education leads to healthier choices by SNAP recipients

Dec. 8, 2013, Tri-State Neighbor

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a study providing clear evidence that well-designed nutrition education programs can lead to healthier food choices by participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The study, SNAP Education and Evaluation Study (Wave II), evaluated the impact of several nutrition education programs on fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income elementary school children and seniors. The study found that children participating in certain nutrition education programs increased their daily fruit and vegetable consumption at home by a quarter- to a third-cup, and were more likely to choose low-fat or fat-free milk. Participating seniors consumed about a half-cup more fruits and vegetables daily.

“The results of this study reiterate the critical role of nutrition education and promotion in improving the healthfulness of SNAP purchases,” said Under Secretary Kevin Concannon. “USDA and our partners continue to explore a wide-ranging set of strategies that support families as they purchase, prepare and eat more healthy foods.” Continue reading