Online Program

Western Region SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework: A Social-Ecological Approach to Evaluating Low-Income Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention State Plans

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Andrew Riesenberg, MSPH, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Western Regional Office, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, San Francisco, CA
Susan Foerster, MPH, RD (Ret), Evaluation Committee Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators, Carmichael, CA
Sharon Sugerman, MS, RD, Research & Evaluation, Public Health Institute Center for Wellness and Nutrition, Sacramento, CA
Karen Franck, PhD, University of Tennessee Extension Department of Family and Consumer Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
INTRODUCTION: SNAP-Education (SNAP-Ed), the nutrition education arm of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aims to increase the likelihood that SNAP eligible households make healthy diet and physical activity choices within a limited budget. As a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, changes in policies, systems, and environments (PSEs) were to be layered on top of direct nutrition education and marketing to enable healthy behaviors. State SNAP agencies, Land Grant University Cooperative Extensions, other universities, public health agencies, and diverse non-profit organizations work collaboratively to plan, implement and evaluate SNAP-Ed projects that accelerate large-scale improvements in healthy eating, physical activity and obesity prevention. APPROACHES: From 2013-2014, the Food and Nutrition Services Western Regional Office collaborated with multiple agencies to develop a set of evaluation logic models resulting in 51 outcome and impact indicators. The Framework reflects national SNAP-Ed guiding principles and the social-ecological model. Eight Western SNAP-Ed programs piloted the Framework to track and report outcomes for over 1.5 million individuals served. RESULTS: Aggregated results across Western states for 2014 show 923 PSE changes were adopted to improve access and appeal for healthful eating and physical activity in low-resource settings. Additional findings and other channels in which the new PSE emphasis is projected for the future will be presented. DISCUSSION: The Western Region SNAP-Ed Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Evaluation Framework fills a need in SNAP-Ed for a comprehensive reporting process for low-income nutrition education and obesity prevention activities. The Framework demonstrates the potential for SNAP-Ed agencies to consistently track outcomes and speak to stakeholders and funders with a unified voice.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify common evaluation indicators for SNAP-Ed effectiveness using comprehensive public health approaches Assess options for measuring and reporting outcomes for multi-level SNAP-Ed interventions that include direct nutrition education, marketing, and community and public health approaches

Keyword(s): Evaluation, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the SNAP Team Lead for Food Security and Obesity Prevention in the Western Region of the Food and Nutrition Service Region. I oversee nutrition assistance initiatives, including SNAP-Ed and SNAP Outreach, for nine States in the Western United States. I have 10+ years' experience in planning and evaluating low-income health promotion and human services programs at the national, regional, and local levels.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.