Obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases rank high among health problems in most racial groups. However, general health statistics indicate that these health problems are highest in African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Research literature documents a positive and almost linear correlation between income and health.
The 1890s educate their program participants by integrating themes of basic nutrition, physical activity, health promotion and disease prevention, cultural diversity, resilience, self reliance, self esteem, and personal responsibility.
Families First- Nutrition Education and Wellness System (FF-NEWS) Program, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
FF-NEWS is designed to help food stamp recipients and other low-income families select and prepare meals consistent with their cultural traditions while improving their family’s overall health. The program targets food stamp recipients in eight counties in the Delta Region of the state. Coalitions are formed in each county. Stakeholders on the coalitions represent a cross section of the impacted clientele and communities. The coalitions assist in identifying target areas and program participants, implementation and evaluation strategies. This culturally sensitive nutrition education program pays specific attention to nutritional problems associated with southern, soul food and Tex-Mex diets. The program encompasses four modules. The four modules include 56 lessons as well as demonstrations and tours.
Impact – In 2007, the nutrition education program resulted in 141,795 contacts with program participants. Multi-county agents and 1862 staff conducted 1,840 educational sessions on diet and health with program participants. Total contacts for this effort were 8,123. Eight hundred fifty-five requests were made by program participants for additional information on dietary quality. Staff had a combined total of 1,230 contacts in teaching food safety.
As a result of this program, 3,500 program participants indicated the following changes to their diet/lifestyle:
- 54% increased knowledge of resources to use for making healthful food choices
- 58% selected healthy food choices when eating out
- 53% reduced portion sizes
- 49% increased more fruits and vegetables in their diet
- 35% increased physical activity
- 52% selected foods low in salt and fat
- 87% practiced washing hands according to recommended procedures
- 56% buy fruits and vegetables when in season
The comments below are typical of those received from program participants:
- “I shop with a grocery list now. Before the class I did not.” -- Ashley County
- “I encourage my family members to practice good personal hygiene and sanitation.” -- Jefferson County
- “I wash my hands thoroughly after touching eggs, raw meat, fish, or poultry.” -- Woodruff County
- “I wash dirty dishes and clean up spills before going on to the next task. When I am preparing foods, this keeps bacteria from spreading.” -- St. Francis County
- “If I determine that a restaurant is not clean, I will not eat there.” -- Drew County
- “This class has taught me how to purchase and store foods properly.” – Desha County
- “This class has taught me ways to save on my grocery bill.” – Jefferson County
- “When fruits and vegetables are in season I buy them. They cost less.” – Lincoln County