The Importance Of The Nutritional Quality Of Food

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quality of food; snacks and meals for recipients (Blumenthal, et al. 2013). States have an option whether to participate in the federally subsidized food programs (Blumenthal, et al. 2013). Currently, all states participate in the program (Blumenthal, et al. 2013).
All of the federally funded programs, WIC, SNAP and the school food program, encourage improvement of the nutritional quality of food; snacks and meals (Blumenthal, et al. 2013; Owens, et al. 2015; and Wetherill, et al. 2015).
HEALTHIER CHOICES The reason we have the federally funded nutrition assistant programs is to help provide food for low-income families, but is that enough? With obesity in children and adults on the rise, the benefits aren’t enough, increasing the nutritional
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Obesity, which increases a person’s chronic disease risk can be avoided with a better diet, by reducing sugar intake and including more fruits and vegetables daily. (Gustafson, et al. 2013 and Jilcott, Wu, Demarest, Dixon, Dortche, Bullock, McGuirt, Ward, and Ammerman 2015).
The Obama Administration considers obesity a national crisis, and wants to reduce obesity in children from twenty percent to five percent by 2030 (Vartanian and Houser 2012). Blumenthal, et al. (2015) suggests poor quality of food is connected to obesity and food insecurity.
Studies have shown that educating low-income consumers about healthier choices through classes does influence their spending choices on healthier options (Kaiser, et al. 2015). However, Vartanian, et al. (2012) reveals the longer children receive SNAP benefits, the risk for higher adult body mass index increases, which leads to increased obesity chances.
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The food environment in a community impacts the use of farmers’ markets. The choices available at farmers’ markets are generally freshly picked fruits and vegetables. With the initiatives of heathier choices, dietary guidelines and nutritional quality, farmers’ markets have the potential to benefit any SNAP or WIC user. What are the reasons the participants in these programs are not using the farmers’ markets when vendors are making it available to EBT holders to use their benefits?
Food Environment A food environment is the availability, price and quality of food within stores, where consumer’s shop. A neighborhood food environment is the distance from home to a food store. Gustafson, et al. (2013) conducted a food store audit to determine where SNAP participants purchased their food within a mile of their homes. In order to audit the store the study used the Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey-Stores (NEMS-S), which also determined what foods were purchased by SNAP participants. This study helped determine the food environment for the participants in the NEMS-S (Gustafson, et al. 2013).

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