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.
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.
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.
The third edition of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) Toolkit includes more than 80 interventions and 20 resources categorized by target behavior, intervention or resource type, and setting.
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.
In 2013, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) helped the U.S. Department of Agriculture compile the first edition the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) toolkit. The toolkit includes comprehensive, evidence-based, obesity prevention resources and interventions, as well as nutrition and physical activity strategies that can be readily adopted by SNAP-Ed agencies and states.
In May 2014, NCCOR and USDA released an updated version of the toolkit which includes 30 additional resources and interventions, and highlights those interventions with helpful designations: “research-tested,” “practice-tested,” or “emerging.” Continue reading
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