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Programs

Health and Nutrition Programs

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

The mission of Nevada’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is to assist families with limited financial resources. Through educational support and experiential learning, the families acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes and changed behavior to improve their nutritional and health status in order to prevent chronic disease and enhance family well-being. Practical application allows learners to see the relevance of information to their daily lives.

Issue

Poor health disproportionately affects minority and low-income U.S. populations. According to Nevada’s 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey data (total n=3,913), of the respondents with incomes less than $25,000 per year, 14% have been told by a doctor, nurse or other health professional that they have had a heart attack, 11% have been told they have coronary heart disease, 21% have been told they have diabetes, and 68% are overweight and 47% are obese. Low income families are the most vulnerable to both under-nutrition and over-consumption. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans specifically emphasize consumption of low-fat, nutrient-dense foods, limited sugars, and increased physical activity. In contrast, food consumption research shows that low-income families often consume low cost, high fat, high calorie foods that provide more calories for less money. EFNEP plays a critical role in bringing nutrition education to low-income families in a practical, hands-on, applied way.

What Has Been Done

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) engages adults and youth to improve nutrition through building basic skills. The key elements of education are: lessons in food safety; wise use of food resources; buying, planning and preparing nutritious meals; encouraging physical activity; modifying behavior related to food practices; and managing money. Program materials are available in English and Spanish. EFNEP programming is conducted by paraprofessionals in group classes at 25 schools and 2 head start locations throughout Las Vegas. The group classes are one and one-half hours in length and conducted each week for eight weeks. Since October 2016, 396 participants were reached through EFNEP adult & youth programming.

Impact

In 2016, EFNEP paraprofessionals worked with 558 families with the race/ethnic breakdown of 88 percent Hispanic, 18 percent White, and 12 percent Black. Of these families, 71 percent have incomes at or below the poverty level. Results of the pre/post evaluation of 574 families showed that, in a 24-hour recall analysis, 96 percent made a positive change in the consumption of servings of grains, fruits, vegetables, meat alternatives and dairy. Ninety-six percent of participants showed improvement in one or more nutrition practices such as planning meals, making healthy food choices, preparing foods without salt, reading nutrition labels and having their children eat breakfast. Ninety-three percent of participants showed improvement in one or more food resource management practices and 85 percent showed improvement in one or more food safety practices. Fifty-seven percent reported an increase in physical activity.

Partner

USDA Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program

Health and Nutrition Programs

Programs Program Information

All 4 Kids

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s (UNCE) All 4 Kids: Healthy, Happy, Active, Fit program is an interdisciplinary approach to addressing child obesity. Developed by UNCE faculty from maternal/child nutrition, exercise physiology and child development, the All 4 Kids program helps children meet the Nevada Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Standards while encouraging preschool children and families to practice healthy eating habits and be active every day.

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

The mission of Nevada’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is to assist families with limited financial resources. Through educational support and experiential learning, the families acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes and changed behavior to improve their nutritional and health status in order to prevent chronic disease and enhance family well-being. Practical application allows learners to see the relevance of information to their daily lives.

Food Safety Project

Grow Yourself Healthy

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Objective:

Healthy Steps to Freedom

Alcohol and drug addiction are serious, chronic and relapsing health problems for both women and men of all ages and backgrounds. Leading to physical and mental health problems, substance abuse often precipitates violence, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, motor vehicle crashes, homelessness, rising health care costs and obesity.

Nevada Radon Education Program

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a partnership with the Nevada State Health Division to educate Nevadans about the possible health risk posed by elevated levels of radon in the home. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) offers literature, educational programs and radon test kits in many county Extension offices.

Pick a better snack™ (formerly Chefs for Kids)

This evidence-based campaign focuses on building fruit and vegetable consumption in children through healthy snacking. Pick a better snack™ is a monthly, in-school nutrition education program for primary grade children in at-risk elementary schools in Clark and Washoe counties in Nevada. In addition to direct instruction, staff works with school wellness coordinators to build meaningful and sustainable programming to create a well environment in every school.

Small Steps 4 Big Changes

Parent involvement is recognized as a key factor in making wise food selections and shaping food and health behavior attitudes that affect the child’s habits and food preferences. Conducted in partnership with the 4-H Youth Development Program, a series of ten nutrition lessons incorporate recipe preparation, food sampling and physical activity segments, with additional nutrition education content for the parent or adult caregiver. All lesson segments are focused on thriving within a limited budget, as well as increasing fruit and vegetable intake. This program has been successfully offered to five Reno Housing Authority (RHA) and other 4-H After School Program sites since the initial launch of the pilot program. The program fosters behavior changes identified by the Centers for Disease Control as being linked to childhood obesity prevention.

Team Nutrition “Smart Choices”

This program strives to address the public health issue of childhood obesity through building basic skills related to food selection and promoting an increased variety of nutritious foods consumed especially vegetables and fruits.

Veggies for Kids

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s (UNCE) Veggies for Kids program takes a proactive approach toward eating and experiencing different kinds of vegetables for American Indian children at a young age.