Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition
SNAP-Ed is the nutrition education and obesity prevention component of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program for eligible low-income households. The 2010 Child Nutrition Act directed SNAP-Ed to include multi-level and public-health approaches, which was operationalized through policy, systems, and environmental change strategies (PSE). This analysis examines how states incorporated and planned to use PSEs in SNAP-Ed programming.
Methods : Data were collected from all 50 states, District of Columbia, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands (collectively described as “states”) for fiscal years 2014 through 2016. The data sources were state SNAP-Ed plans, annual reports, and administrative data. Qualitative methods were used to abstract the textual information from state plans and annual reports. Numerical data were collected from administrative data sets. Both textual and numerical data were categorized, counted, and relative frequencies were calculated.
Between 2014 and 2016, the percentage of states that included PSEs as a statewide goal for SNAP-Ed increased from 25 to 47 and the percentage that planned to implement at least one PSE increased from 56 to 98. Among states that planned to implement PSEs in 2016, the 3 most common settings were places where people learn (e.g., schools) (92%), live (e.g., local communities) (90%), and work (e.g., worksites) (83%). States partnered with a wide range of organizations to deliver PSEs, with the 3 most common being government programs or agencies (77%), agricultural organizations (58%), and others non-specified (e.g., food alliances, wellness committees) (48%). Between 2014 and 2016, the percentage of states that planned to target environmental settings from the SNAP-Ed evaluation framework increased from 31 to 78.
States increasingly planned to use and were using PSEs across a range of settings and partners in SNAP-Ed between 2014 and 2016. This increase is encouraging as PSEs are important to use in conjunction with direct nutrition education and social marketing to improve nutrition and prevent obesity.
Funding Sources :
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.