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A place to search and comment on NCCOR-authored content and childhood obesity research and trends

USDA releases new guide for SNAP-Ed evaluation

Since 2012, NCCOR has worked with USDA to promote evidence-based and actionable tools consistent with the context and policies of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

SNAP-Education (SNAP-Ed), the nutrition education and obesity prevention arm of the SNAP, aims to increase the likelihood that SNAP-Ed eligible households will make healthy diet and physical activity choices within a limited budget. SNAP-Ed is central to USDA efforts to improve nutrition and prevent or reduce diet-related disease and obesity among SNAP recipients. As a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, changes in policies, systems, and environments (PSEs) were to be layered with direct nutrition education and marketing to enable, promote, and support healthy behaviors among low-income people and their communities.

States that are now implementing comprehensive programs with direct education, social marketing, and PSE changes do not have an established or streamlined mechanism to evaluate program effectiveness and report results to funders. Working together, NCCOR, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), the Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA), and more than 28 states, contributed and developed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAPEd) Evaluation Framework: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Indicators.

The evaluation framework is an effort that began in 2013 by the USDA/FNS Western Regional Office, was updated in 2014, and finalized at the national level in 2016. The evaluation framework includes a focused menu of 51 evaluation indicators that align with the SNAP‐Ed guiding principles and lend support to documenting changes resulting from multiple approaches for low-income nutrition education and obesity prevention. These approaches include individual, group, and family nutrition education and physical activity promotion and related interventions; comprehensive, multi‐level interventions in environmental settings; and community and public health approaches that reach a large segment of the population.

Presented in a logic model format, the framework has excellent potential for informing multi-year planning and evaluation when State SNAP Agencies and providers select short-term (ST), medium-term (MT), long-term (LT), and population-results (R) indicators that are related to each other through time. Practitioners can use the framework to identify indicators of success and inform program improvements when implementing multi-component programs with a focus on social marketing or PSE interventions included in the SNAP-Ed Strategies and Interventions: An Obesity Prevention Toolkit for States, as well as when reporting PSE changes and evaluating obesity prevention potential for interventions not yet included in the toolkit.

The interpretive guide to the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework identifies and explains the indicators, outcome measures, and preferred methodologies for tracking success and developing state- and local-level SNAP‐Ed objectives and reporting program evaluation to FNS, other funders, and program stakeholders. The framework offers invaluable benefits to program implementers by offering a roadmap that monitors program effectiveness, informs continuous program improvement, and generates a consistent set of program outcomes of interest to stakeholders and funders, including Congress.

View the Evaluation Framework.

Read the Interpretive Guide.

Learn more about NCCOR’s SNAP-Ed project.

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NCCOR Connect & Explore: Evaluating Health Care-Community Collaborations: Community-Based Programs

The health care sector is working toward engaging communities to directly address population health, including childhood obesity prevention. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 stipulates that non-profit hospitals and health systems must engage in activities to improve the health of the communities they serve. Exploring the integration of clinic-community programs is vital for moving childhood obesity prevention efforts forward.

This month, NCCOR is hosting a Connect & Explore webinar on “Evaluating Health Care-Community Collaborations: Community-Based Programs.” The webinar will feature two case studies highlighting strategies used by clinics to engage communities in addressing childhood obesity. Presenters will discuss efforts to assess the reach, effectiveness, adoption, impact, and maintenance of programs at the community level. Continue reading

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IPEN study reports that daily physical activity is related to where we live

Is the amount of physical activity we achieve each day related to where we live? A new research study published in The Lancet provides evidence that the answer is yes. The study from the International Physical Activity and Environment Network (IPEN), which included 6822 adults aged 18–66 from 14 cities in 10 countries found that individuals who live in the most activity friendly neighborhoods achieved as much as 90 more minutes of physical activity each week compared to those individuals living in the least activity friendly neighborhoods.

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In fiscal year 2016, the USDA authorized more than ___ million to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands to provide nutrition education and obesity prevention services.