Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Evaluation of Statewide Nutrition Education Networks (1995-1999)

One activity that reflects the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) commitment to nutrition promotion is the development of State nutrition networks. Since October 1995, USDA’s Food and Consumer Service (FCS) has awarded cooperative agreements to 22 States to create nutrition networks that would develop innovative, large-scale, and sustainable approaches to providing nutrition education to low-income families that participate or are eligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program (FSP). Twelve States entered into agreements with FCS in 1995. In 1996, ten more States signed agreements. These agreements fund State-level nutrition education networks of State and local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and representatives of private industry. The purpose of the networks is to coordinate the delivery of nutrition education messages to the low-income population eligible for food stamps. In the past, some people participating in the FSP received nutrition education through individual counseling or classes. Now, FCS is promoting a new approach, designed to reach many more FSP participants and to bring about positive changes in behavior more effectively. The cooperative agreements provide States with resources to recruit network members, develop network membership, and create a nutrition education plan that is linked to social marketing technique.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Food Stamp Nutrition Education Systems Review

In the Food Stamp Program, States have the option to provide nutrition education to food stamp recipients and eligible non-participants as part of their administrative operations. The scope of food stamp nutrition education (FSNE) has expanded rapidly since its inception – with the Federal share of costs growing from less than $1 million in 1992 to $228 million in 2004. The goal of FSNE is to provide educational programs that increase, within a limited budget, the likelihood that food stamp recipients make healthy food choices and choose active lifestyles consistent with the most recent advice reflected in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid. Within this general guidance, however, States have the flexibility to design a wide variety of nutrition education initiatives and operate through contracted implementing agencies, local projects and various partner organizations. This report presents a comprehensive and systematic national description of food stamp nutrition education operations in fiscal year (FY) 2004. It also provides a comparison of those operations to the standards of excellence for nutrition education developed as the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Guiding Principles, released by FNS in September 2005.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
WIC Nutrition Education Assessment Study

The WIC Nutrition Education Assessment Study was conducted by Abt Associates Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, under contract with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The study was designed by FNS to fill several important gaps in information about the nutrition education component of the WIC Program.

It was not designed to be a "best practices" study, nor was it meant to provide a nationally representative picture of nutrition education in the WIC Program. Rather, the study was exploratory in nature and examined processes and outcomes in six local WIC agencies that serve different populations and use a variety of different approaches to providing nutrition education. Findings from the study are intended to provide a focus for future research in this area. The study is unique in that it used a longitudinal design, i.e., repeated measures from the same group of WIC participants over a period of time. In addition, the study employed a mixed-method approach to data collection that allowed for collection of comparable data from different sources.

This feature provides broad coverage of important issues from different perspectives. Six local WIC agencies participated in the study which focused on pregnant and postpartum WIC participants. A separate report describes the nutrition-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of study subjects at the time they enrolled in WIC (Fox, M.K., et al., 1998). This report describes the nutrition education services offered in study sites, participants' receipt of and satisfaction with these services, and changes in participants' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors between the time of prenatal WIC certification and four-to-six-months postpartum.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education
WIC Nutrition Education Study: Phase I Report

The WIC Nutrition Education Study provides detailed information on WIC nutrition education services and includes the following phases:

• Phase I: Comprehensive nationally representative description of WIC nutrition education processes and features.
• Phase II: Pilot study of the impact of WIC nutrition education on nutrition and other behaviors in six WIC sites.
• Phase III: Design of a national evaluation study based on findings from the pilot study.

This report presents the Phase I results of the study. FNS plans to complete Phases II and III in fall 2017.

Resource | Research | Demonstrations
WIC Nutrition Education Demonstration Study: Final Report - Prenatal Intervention

The WIC Nutrition Education Demonstration Study was conducted by Abt Associates, Inc. for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The study evaluated the effectiveness of three innovative approaches to nutrition education in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Two of these education innovations were designed for educating prenatal women; the third focused on nutrition education for 3- and 4-year-old WIC participants. This executive summary and report describe the evaluation and results of the educational interventions for prenatal women.

Resource | Research | Demonstrations
WIC Nutrition Education Demonstration Study: Child Intervention

In 1994, FNS initiated the WIC Nutrition Education Demonstration Study. The demonstration had two components: a comparison of the effects of innovative and traditional WIC nutrition education for prenatal participants; and a study of the feasibility and effectiveness of providing nutrition education to preschool (three-and-four-year-old) WIC participants. The report summarized here describes the design and implementation of the child nutrition education demonstration and presents findings describing the effectiveness of the demonstration.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Nutrition Education: Principles of Sound Impact Evaluation

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is frequently asked, by a variety of nutrition education partners, how it defines a sound impact evaluation. The principles introduced here describe the characteristics of strong impact assessments of nutrition education. They are also consistent with the Government and Performance Results Act and the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance for clear demonstration of program effects.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Nutrition Education Research Review

related behaviors is, however, a complex challenge. FNS encourages providers to incorporate available scientific evidence into their plans and activities in order to maximize the impact of nutrition education. To assist nutrition educators in their use of relevant research, FNS conducted a review of studies on: Message framing, Use of interactive technology to tailor messages, and Intervention intensity. The review was intended to document how these specific features of nutrition messages and interventions influence the likelihood of promoting more healthful food choices. The review began with a computerized literature search of articles published in peer-reviewed journals between 1995 and 2004. Abstracts were reviewed and articles selected based on topic relevance. A systematic effort was also made to identify pertinent unpublished reports. Finally, additional studies were incorporated by cross-checking references in the initial set of studies examined. Three comprehensive reviews – one associated with each topic – were produced. There is also a research brief which incorporates information from the individual reviews in an expanded executive summary.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Nutrition Education and Promotion: The Role of FNS in Helping Low-Income Families Make Healthier Eating and Lifestyle Choices - A Report to Congress

This report responds to the charge in the explanatory statement of Chairman Obey, entered into the Congressional Record Feb. 23, 2009, regarding the request from Congress in the conference report for the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111–8). The conference report included the following directive:

Resource | Research, Analysis & Background | Assessing/Improving Operations
Analysis of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) Data for All States

SNAP Education (SNAP-Ed) is the nutrition education and obesity prevention component of SNAP; its goal is to improve the likelihood that persons eligible for SNAP will make nutritious food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA food guidance.