Resource | Research | Breastfeeding
WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study 2: Second Year Report

The WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (WIC ITFPS-2), also known as the “Feeding My Baby” Study, captures data on caregivers and their children over the first 5 years of the child’s life after WIC enrollment to address a series of research questions regarding feeding practices, associations between WIC services and those practices, and the health and nutrition outcomes of children receiving WIC. The study previously produced two reports, the Intentions to Breastfeed Report and the Infant Year Report.  The current report focuses on caregivers’ employment, school, and childcare circumstances, as well as the feeding progressions, dietary intake, and weight status of children from birth through around 24 months.

Resource | Research | Breastfeeding
WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study 2: Infant Year Report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) was established to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant women and infants who are at nutritional risk. The WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study–2 (WIC ITFPS-2)/ “Feeding My Baby” captures data on WIC caregivers and their children over the first 5 years of each child’s life to address a series of research questions regarding feeding practices, the effect of WIC services on those practices, and the health and nutrition outcomes of children on WIC. Additionally, the study assesses changes in behaviors and trends that may have occurred over the past 20 years by comparing findings to the WIC Infant Feeding Practices Study–1 (WIC IFPS-1), the last major study of the diets of infants on WIC. This study will provide a series of reports. The current report focuses on breastfeeding intention, initiation and duration, and the introduction of complementary foods.

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 | 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 | Food Security
Obesity, Poverty, and Participation in Nutrition Assistance Programs

The national nutrition safety net consists of 15 programs that provide millions of low-income Americans access to a healthy and nutritious diet. It has been observed that many low-income individuals are both overweight and participants in one or more nutrition assistance programs. This has led some to question whether participation in the nutrition assistance programs contributes to the growing problem of overweight and obesity. This report presents the conclusions of an expert panel convened by the Food and Nutrition Service to determine if there is scientific evidence of a relationship between program participation and excess weight.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Environmental Scan and Audience Analysis for Phase II of Eat Smart. Play Hard.

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) launched the Eat Smart. Play Hard. campaign to promote the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) healthy eating and physical activity messages to children ages 2–18 and their caregivers. This campaign is an FNS agency-wide initiative and represents the latest effort by FNS to meet its strategic goal of improving the nutrition of children and low-income adults while at the same time addressing the major public health issue of the increasing prevalence of obesity among our Nation’s youth. The FNS nutrition assistance programs have a potential reach of more than 48.2 million children. Delivery of the Eat Smart. Play Hard. messages across these programs has the potential to impact eating and physical activity behaviors in a positive way.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Nutrition Education in FNS: A Coordinated Approach for Promoting Healthy Behaviors

This report fulfills the request from Congress in the House Appropriations Committee Report (House Report 107-116), which accompanied the Agriculture Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2002. The conference report included the following statement: “The nutritional status of our young people is a matter of public health. The Committee expects the Department to build upon work already done with the food pyramid, and other innovative national and local efforts. Nutrition information should be carefully reviewed so that a consistent and coordinated message is disseminated. Existing opportunities to convey nutrition messages, including newsletters, static displays in cafeterias, in-school and cable television productions should be used to the maximum extent possible. The committee directs the Department to provide a report regarding the development and implementation of this effort by February 1, 2002."

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Dietary Intake and Dietary Attitudes Among Food Stamp Participants and Other Low-Income Individuals

This report examines the dietary knowledge and attitudes of low-income individuals, including FSP participants and nonparticipants, describes their dietary intake, and estimates participation-dietary intake relationship. In particular, the analysis addresses three basic questions: What do low-income adults know about healthy eating practices, and how do they feel about these practices and about their own diets? What do low-income Americans eat, and how do their diets stack up against accepted standards for healthy eating? What is the relationship between food stamp participation and dietary intake among low-income individuals and do differences in the dietary knowledge and attitudes among participants and low-income nonparticipants mediate this relationship?

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Promoting Healthy Eating: An Investment In the Future

This report fulfills a Congressional request for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to report on "a comprehensive, integrated approach to nutrition education as a complement to the various nutrition assistance programs." FNS reviewed its current nutrition education efforts, and consulted with a wide range of nutrition education experts and stakeholders.

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.