As part of the popular Connect & Explore webinar series, NCCOR hosted a two-part feature on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework. On August 18, the webinar titled “SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework: Measuring Success in Low-Income Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Programs” explored how to use the framework to evaluate nutrition education and obesity prevention programs. Guest speakers included: Andrew Naja-Riese, MSPH, Chief, Program Integrity Branch, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Food and Nutrition Service, Western Regional Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Laurel Jacobs, DrPH, MPH, Lead Evaluator, Arizona SNAP-Ed, The University of Arizona; and Theresa Le Gros, MA, Evaluator, Arizona SNAP-Ed, The University of Arizona. Speakers discussed the Evaluation Framework and how Arizona SNAP-Ed has used the Framework in their evaluation efforts.
Bridging the Gap has released a comprehensive report examining U.S. secondary school policies and practices related to nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention.
The report, entitled School Policies and Practices to Improve Health and Prevent Obesity: National Secondary School Results, Volume 6, focuses on students in grades 8, 10, and 12 and includes data from nationally representative samples of public middle and high schools. It provides new information from the 2013-14 school year on school meals, competitive foods and beverages, drinking water in schools, physical activity (including physical education, sports participation, and walking and biking to school), progress made in fulfilling the federal wellness policy mandate, and much more. It also includes annual trends from the 2006-07 school year forward.
With up to 50 percent of students’ daily energy intake occurring in the school building, schools are often the focus of targeted efforts to combat childhood obesity. Recent evidence has shown that although school-based nutrition education programs may contribute to healthier eating habits, these programs are not consistently effective on their own.
In response, an exciting area of research is emerging with a focus on the physical design of school building features, such as cafeterias, teaching gardens, or access to drinking water, and the impact it can have on healthy eating behaviors and attitudes. As this body of research expands, however, little work has been done to quantify, categorize, and analyze it.
Periodically, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) will share examples of how members’ research is being applied for a variety of impacts. Today, our focus is on several U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiatives at the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Here are three brief examples.
Nov. 19, 2014, Science World Report
By Kathleen Lees
The last concern on children’s minds is eating healthy. Yet adding a little fun and games to the equation can make a dramatic difference when it comes to eating right.
Recent findings published in the journal Appetite found that some fun fruit and vegetable games were enough to encourage toddlers to try out some healthy choices. Continue reading
Nov. 11, 2014, HealthDay
Children have healthier diets when their parents place restrictions on what they can eat and train them to control their impulses, a new study suggests.
The University at Buffalo researchers analyzed data from almost 9,000 American children whose self-regulation was assessed at age 2. The children’s diets and parental food rules were then checked at age 4. Continue reading
Oct. 13, 2014, TIME
By Alice Park
“Eat together” is a mantra that doctors and nutritionists use regularly when they talk with families about eating healthy and maintaining normal weight. Children who eat regular family meals tend to have lower rates of obesity and eat more nutritiously. A new study published Oct. 13 in the journal Pediatrics takes a novel look at why. Continue reading
July 31, 2014, HealthDay
Many obese and overweight kids don’t see themselves that way, which makes achieving a healthy weight almost impossible, researchers report.
In a new study, 27 percent of children and teens underestimated their weight. Fewer than 3 percent overestimated it. About 25 percent of parents underestimated their child’s weight and just 1 percent overestimated it, according to the study.
“Efforts to prevent childhood obesity should incorporate education for both children and parents regarding the proper identification and interpretation of actual body weight,” said lead researcher Han-Yang Chen, from the department of quantitative health sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass. Continue reading
Feb. 18, 2014, The Washington Post
By Suzanne Allard Levingston
Cutting your risk of cancer is no longer just about shunning tobacco. Be lean. Eat healthfully. Get active. Common-sense lifestyle strategies for lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes are now being shown to help prevent many types of cancer.
Of course, there are few absolutes in cancer prevention. Cancer is still a riddle, with many factors, including genetics, playing a role. But growing evidence suggests that there are steps that we can take to lower our chances of getting the disease, experts say.
Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society (ACS), urges careful attention to the “three-legged stool” of excess weight, poor diet, and inadequate physical activity, which together are linked to between a quarter to a third of cancer cases. If tobacco use continues its decline of the past 15 years or so, he said, that trio may supplant smoking as the leading preventable cause of cancer. Continue reading
Dec. 6, 2013, Red Orbit
A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) demonstrates that the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets. The findings, published in the British Medical Journal Open, are based on the most comprehensive examination to date comparing prices of healthy foods and diet patterns versus less healthy ones.
“People often say that healthier foods are more expensive, and that such costs strongly limit better diet habits,” said Mayuree Rao, a junior research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH. “But, until now, the scientific evidence for this idea has not been systematically evaluated, nor have the actual differences in cost been characterized.”
The HSPH team conducted a meta-analysis of 27 existing studies from 10 high-income countries to answer this question. The studies included price data for included foods and for healthier versus less healthy diets. The team evaluated several factors, including the differences in prices per serving and per 200 calories for particular types of foods, and prices per day and per 2,000 calories (the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended average daily calorie intake for adults) for overall diet patterns. The team assessed both prices per serving and per calorie because prices can vary depending on the unit of comparison. Continue reading