from the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research
New SNAP-Ed toolkit helps states identify obesity prevention strategies
May 7, 2013, NCCOR
On March 30, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a new toolkit to help states identify evidenced-based obesity prevention policy and environmental change interventions to include in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed). The toolkit includes strategies and interventions that can be readily adopted by states in a variety of different capacities including child care, school, community, and family settings.
All 50 states, the District of Colombia, and the Virgin Islands provide nutrition education for participants enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) and other eligible low-income individuals. The goal is to help people make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate.
Traditionally, the focus of SNAP education initiatives has been on the individual recipient, but the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 transformed the program into a nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program. Known as SNAP-Ed, the program explicitly adopts obesity prevention as a major emphasis and embraces comprehensive, evidence-based strategies delivered through community-based and public health approaches.
In October 2012, USDA asked for help from the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) in developing a toolkit of effective and actionable tools and interventions that embody community-based and public health approaches to nutrition education and obesity prevention. NCCOR immediately convened a group of members interested in working on the project and helped USDA assemble a set of tools that are: (1) proven effective, (2) consistent with SNAP-Ed policy and practice, (3) suitable for low-income populations, and (4) likely to achieve obesity prevention goals.
The final product is an online toolkit that offers a robust group of effective interventions that can be adopted by SNAP agencies and providers at the state level. The toolkit was drawn from various sources, including public health literature, collections of existing interventions, and other resources developed by organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Carolina Center for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT).