1890 Extension Efforts Support Nutrition, Health and Wellness in Communities
From USDA NIFA
The 1890 Land-grant Universities shape a brighter future for their communities through their Cooperative Extension programs that are providing families with the information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices. Supported by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Extension programs at 1890 Land-grant Universities are changing lives.
The Delaware State University Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) educates individuals and families in Kent County, Delaware, on how to make informed decisions about wise food choices, safety and budgeting. Working with the peer support and resource center, Brandywine Counseling & Community Services Inc. (BCCS), participants not only learned basic nutrition, but also how to make healthy snack choices and achieve the goal of consuming five fruits and vegetables each day. In addition, clients learned the importance of physical exercise.
In 2022, EFNEP held five BCCS adult sessions once a week over a six-week period. Each session enrolled 25 to 30 participants. Based on evaluation results, the adults decreased their consumption of refined grains, fats and sugars. They also increased their fruit, vegetable and water intake and exercise habits by more than 90 percent before exiting the program.
The United Way of Anderson County in South Carolina revealed that 65 percent of local adult residents are either overweight or obese and that at least 18 percent of the county’s residents lack health coverage. This presents a problem as insurance rates continue to increase. Additionally, the National Institute of Aging emphasized that making smart food choices and maintaining a healthy diet links directly to decreased obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension in aging adults.