Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Nutrient and Food Group Analysis of USDA Foods in Five of its Food and Nutrition Programs - 2014

This study updates a 2009 analysis of the nutrient and food group content of the USDA Foods offered and delivered through Federal nutrition assistance programs. It examines the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) in fiscal year (FY) 2014 and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in school year (SY) 2013-2014. The study also estimated the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores under the HEI-2010 and the HEI-2005 scoring systems for each program’s benefits.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Diet Quality of American School Children by National School Lunch Program Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2010

This report uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey to provide a comprehensive picture of the nutrient intakes, food choices, and diet quality of American school children, broken out by participation in the National School Lunch Program and income status.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Diet Quality of Americans by SNAP Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2010

This report uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to provide a comprehensive picture of the nutrient intakes, food choices, and diet quality of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants, compared with income-eligible nonparticipants and higher-income nonparticipants.

Resource | Research | Impacts/Evaluations
Healthy Incentives Pilot Final Evaluation Report

The Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) tested a way of making fruits and vegetables more affordable for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assis­tance Program (SNAP). Under HIP, SNAP partici­pants received a financial incentive for purchasing fruits and vegetables. The HIP evaluation used a random assignment research design. Specifically, 7,500 Hampden County SNAP households were randomly selected to partic­ipate in HIP, while the remaining 47,595 households continued to receive SNAP benefits as usual. The final evaluation report presents findings on the impacts of HIP on fruit and vegetable consumption and spending, the processes involved in implementation and operating HIP, impacts on stakeholders, and the costs associated with the pilot.

Resource | Research | Promoting Healthy Eating
Approaches for Promoting Healthy Food Purchases by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participants

This study developed innovative approaches to using nutrition labeling systems to incentivize healthy food choices by SNAP participants in retail settings. The approaches consider opportunities for using Front of Package and shelf labeling systems across all food categories and retail settings.

Resource | Research | Demonstrations
Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) Interim Report

The Healthy Incentive Pilot (HIP) is being evaluated using a rigorous research design. Of the SNAP households in Hampden County, 7,500 were randomly assigned to the HIP group and the remaining households to the non-HIP group. The overall goal of the evaluation is to assess the impact of HIP on participants’ intake of fruits and vegetables. The Interim report provides early estimates of fruit and vegetable consumption among participants and other early pilot impacts four to six months after implementation. This report is based on participant surveys conducted just before and 4 to 6 months after implementation. The surveys include 24-hour dietary recalls in addition to information about attitudes and preferences for fruits and vegetables and shopping patterns. Analyses of participant spending and incentive earnings are presented based on EBT transactions data for the first 6 months of the pilot.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study IV

This report summarizes findings from the fourth School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-IV), which collected data from nationally representative samples of school districts and schools in school year (SY) 2009-10. As in prior studies, the nutrient content of the average meals offered and served in the Nation’s schools was compared with regulatory standards in effect at the time—the School Meal Initiative (SMI) nutrition standards—as well as selected recommendations included in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In January 2012, USDA issued new standards for school meals to be phased in over 3 years beginning in SY 2012-13. The data reported here thus serve as a marker of progress in achieving the SMI standards, and a baseline for measuring future improvements under the new standards. The study also collected information about the availability of competitive foods—foods sold in competition to USDA school meals through a la carte sales in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores, and other venues. Finally, the study collected data from a sample of elementary schools participating in the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) and compared them to elementary schools nationwide.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Building a Healthy America: A Profile of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

As the time for reauthorization of SNAP again approaches, it is useful to take stock of its accomplishments, identify those features that have contributed to its success, and look for new opportunities to strengthen operations to achieve program goals more fully. To that end, this is a summary of past research on program operations and outcomes.

Resource | Research | Promoting Healthy Eating
Characteristics and Dietary Patterns of Healthy and Less-Healthy Eaters in the Low-Income Population

The diets of most Americans fall short of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This exploratory analysis examines dietary patterns of low-income individuals classified as healthy and less healthy eaters based on their score on the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005. The HEI-2005 is a 100-point score that measures how well populations adhere to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For this analysis, individuals with HEI-2005 scores of 70 or higher are defined as healthy eaters (scored by top 10 percent of the general population). Individuals with scores below 49 (scored by half of the general population) are defined as less healthy eaters.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Nutrient and MyPyramid Analysis of USDA Foods in Five of Its Food and Nutrition Programs

Through its food distribution programs, USDA purchases a variety of food including fruits, vegetables, meat, grains, and dairy products for distribution directly to needy households or for use in congregate feeding programs that help Americans obtain access to nutritious food and support American agriculture. These USDA Foods are distributed to help supplement the diets of: children participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), women, infants, children, and elderly participating in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), low-income Native Americans participating in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), and needy individuals seeking assistance from food pantries and soup kitchens and participating in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). This report contains nutrient and food group analyses of the USDA Foods distributed through the NSLP, CACFP, CSFP, FDPIR, and TEFAP in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009.