New Report Demonstrating Value of Nutrition Education Bolsters Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Efforts to Support SNAP-Ed

Released: 12/18/2013 11:35 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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Newswise — CHICAGO –Nutrition education improves fruit, vegetable and low-fat dairy consumption among low-income children and the elderly, according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed). The results support the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ commitment to nutrition education programs, many of which are directed by registered dietitian nutritionists and Academy members.

“The USDA study that evaluated the impact of the SNAP-Ed program emphasizes the importance of offering nutrition education to improve dietary outcomes of all Americans, especially low-income populations who disproportionately suffer from poor diet and food-related illnesses,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Dr. Glenna McCollum. “SNAP-Ed is a key component to SNAP and is highly effective, which this report supports.”

The SNAP Education and Evaluation Study (Wave II) evaluated several SNAP-Ed nutrition education programs with projects designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income elementary school children and seniors. The findings indicate that children and seniors who participate in these programs consume more fruits and vegetables and are more likely to drink low-fat or fat-free milk.

“These new results indicate that the recent changes to SNAP-Ed are leading to positive outcomes,” McCollum said. “We have known for some time that SNAP-Ed programs, frequently led by registered dietitian nutritionists, have shown to be effective and change behavior. Now we see another example of their success.”

The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that people eligible for SNAP will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and USDA food guidance.

“If we want more people to eat fruits and vegetables, then we must give them the tools to do so through effective nutrition education programs, like SNAP-Ed,” continued McCollum.

SNAP-Ed is one of many programs being discussed within the larger Farm Bill debate. “The Academy continues to encourage Congress to pass a Farm Bill that protects and strengthens evidence-based programs that improve the health of Americans, like SNAP-Ed and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program,” McCollum said.

To learn more about the Academy’s efforts to improve the nutritional health of children and families, visit www.KidsEatRight.org

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All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy’s Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use “registered dietitian nutritionist” (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.


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