NCCOR Connect & Explore: SNAP-Ed Evaluation: A Two-Part Webinar Series

States and organizations are implementing comprehensive nutrition education and obesity prevention programs around the country as one approach to address the rise in childhood obesity. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 stipulates that changes in policies, systems, and environments (PSEs) are to be layered with direct nutrition education and social marketing to enable, promote, and support healthy behaviors among low-income people and their communities. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed), the nutrition education and obesity prevention arm of the SNAP, aims to increase the likelihood that SNAP-Ed eligible households will make healthy diet and physical activity choices within a limited budget.

To establish a mechanism to evaluate program effectiveness and report results to funders, NCCOR, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA), and more than 28 states, contributed and developed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP‐Ed) Evaluation Framework: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Indicators.

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USDA releases new guide for SNAP-Ed evaluation

Since 2012, NCCOR has worked with USDA to promote evidence-based and actionable tools consistent with the context and policies of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

SNAP-Education (SNAP-Ed), the nutrition education and obesity prevention arm of the SNAP, aims to increase the likelihood that SNAP-Ed eligible households will make healthy diet and physical activity choices within a limited budget. SNAP-Ed is central to USDA efforts to improve nutrition and prevent or reduce diet-related disease and obesity among SNAP recipients. As a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, changes in policies, systems, and environments (PSEs) were to be layered with direct nutrition education and marketing to enable, promote, and support healthy behaviors among low-income people and their communities.

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USDA awards funding for regional centers of excellence in nutrition education and obesity prevention

Oct. 17, 2014, U.S. Department of Agriculture

On Oct. 17 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $4 million in grants to establish four regional centers of excellence for research on nutrition education and obesity prevention, as well as a coordinating center, which will develop and test innovative nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions for underserved, low-income families.

“Nearly one in three children today is overweight or obese, and nutrition promotion strategies, including education, public policies, health systems, and environmental changes, are the key to reversing this trend,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, Ph.D., National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) director. “These grants provide the opportunity to improve the health of our next generation and ensure that all children have access to the tools they need to improve their nutrition and physical fitness.” Continue reading

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