Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Related Research,
Program Evaluation and Outreach
L. Liang, Ph.D.
Department of Computer Science and Information
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) was established by Congress in 1968 to assist low income individuals and families in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behaviors necessary for nutritionally sound diets. The goal of this USDA multi-state project is to verify the validity of current approaches and/or develop new approaches for evaluating the EFNEP.
In 1969, the primary nutritional problems of EFNEP’s participants were energy inadequacy and vitamin and mineral deficiencies which resulted in growth deficits. However, current nutritional problems of limited-resource families include energy excess, resulting in overweight and obesity, and early development of chronic diseases. Further, the science of nutrition has revealed new diet-disease relationships, national dietary guidelines continue to evolve, and new food choice behaviors emerge as more food is purchased and consumed away from home. Given these significant societal changes, the methods EFNEP currently uses to evaluate dietary quality and program impact need to be reexamined and new approaches for evaluating the EFNEP may need to be developed.
In participation of this project, the research team of Professor Liang at Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of the District of Columbia, will develop methodologies to test and evaluate qualitative, quantitative, and biomarker measures for use with EFNEP recipients.
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