Resource | Research | Nutrition Education
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 | 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 | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
A Comparison of WIC Vendor Management Practices in 1991 and 1998

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published “The WIC Vendor Management Study, 1998” in July 2001 which examined, in part, the extent to which retail grocers, defined as “vendors” in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), were violating program rules and regulations. The 1998 study is a follow-up to the “WIC Vendor Issues Study, 1991” published by FNS in May 1993. From an operational and management perspective, it is important for FNS to know if there have been any changes in vendor management practices from 1991 to 1998. However, as there were differences in the way the data were collected, analyzed, and reported, the findings presented in the two published reports cannot be directly compared. This report presents a re-analysis of the data from the 1991 and 1998 studies, which allows comparisons of the findings.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education
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
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."