Nav: Home

Nutrition program improves food stamp family's food security

December 12, 2016

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Food stamp participants who participated in a supplemental nutrition education program were able to improve their food security by 25 percent, according to a study by Purdue University.

"Food assistance is very important and this shows that nutrition education is an effective part of improving food security as the lessons focused on practical ways to stretch food dollars while eating nutritiously," said Heather Eicher-Miller, an assistant professor of nutrition science. "In Indiana, Snap Ed is making a significant impact, and it is amazing that an education program that is shared with just one person in a household has the power to change how an entire family is eating for one year. What these families learn can last longer than the food assistance they receive."

These findings are published in The Journal of Nutrition. During 2013, 19.5 percent of U. S. households with children experienced food insecurity at some time during the year, and children can suffer from psychological, behavioral and physical problems if they do not consume enough food.

The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, serves millions of low-income individuals and families. SNAP is a part of the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service. SNAP-Ed programs can vary from state to state. The direct education provided through SNAP-Ed programs in Indiana are hands on, and all lessons combine maximizing the food budget while focusing on nutritional components, such as consuming lean meats and vegetables and fruits. One lesson includes visiting a grocery story to compare prices while studying items' nutritional labels. These lessons are provided through local Purdue Extension offices.

In this randomized controlled study, 575 individuals from low-income Indiana households, each with at least one child, participated in the first four Indiana SNAP-Ed curriculum lessons. The lessons were taught by 41 SNAP-Ed educators from 38 Indiana counties. The individuals were interviewed before they started the education program and a year later.

"The fact that what they learned made a difference months later is remarkable," said Eicher-Miller, who also is director of Indiana's Emergency Food Resource Network. "This educational program is voluntary for SNAP participants. We may not see such a large increase in food security over time if the program was required for the population it serves."
-end-
This research was supported by a grant from the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research through funding by the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service.

Purdue University

Related Nutrition Articles:

Learning about nutrition from 'food porn' and online quizzes
Harvard and Columbia researchers designed an online experiment to test how people learn about nutrition in the context of a social, online quiz.
4 exciting advances in food and nutrition research
New discoveries tied to how food affects our body and why we make certain food choices could help inform nutrition plans and policies that encourage healthy food choices.
Cutting-edge analytics allows health to be improved through nutrition
The company Lipigenia, which specializes in setting out guidelines on appropriate nutrition to achieve people's well-being on the basis of state-of-the-art blood analytics, has embarked on its activity following the partnership reached between AZTI, the Italian enterprise CNR-ISOF and Intermedical Solutions Worldwide.
Nothing fishy about better nutrition for mums and babies
Researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the University of Adelaide have found a way to provide mothers and young children in Cambodia with better nutrition through an unlikely source -- fish sauce.
Nutrition information... for cows?
Cattle need a mixture is legume and grass for a healthy, balanced diet.
More Nutrition News and Nutrition Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...