ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3) program dynamics and administration. The core food and nutrition assistance programs include the Food Stamp Program, the child nutrition programs, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This report summarizes FANRP's activities and accomplishments in fiscal 1998.
A comprehensive model is developed to measure the extent that nutrition knowledge and diet-health awareness, among other factors, influence an individual's Healthy Eating Index (HEI), USDA's measure of overall diet quality. This is the first study that rigorously attempts to examine variation in the index across population groups by controlling for personal and household characteristics and nutrition information levels, as well as test for endogeneity of nutrition information. Results indicate that one's level of nutrition information has an important influence on one's HEI and that nutrition information and the HEI are simultaneously determined. Other factors explaining variations in HEI's across individuals are income and education levels, race, ethnicity, and age. Evidence supports the hypothesis that higher education promotes more healthful food choices through better acquisition and use of health information.
Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 1998, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application ProcessAP-002, April 06, 1998
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 1998. The three priority research areas were (1) Dietary and Nutrition Outcomes, (2) Food Program Targeting and Delivery, (3) Program Forecasting and Budget Analysis. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 1998 was between $2 million and $4 million. The deadline for proposal submission was June 5, 1998.
The Diets of America's Children: Influences of Dining Out, Household Characteristics, and Nutrition KnowledgeAER-746, December 31, 1996
Recent USDA surveys point out several shortcomings in children's diets. The share of calories from total and saturated fat averaged 4 and 3 percentage points above the recommendations. The sodium intake averaged 23 percent above the 2,400 milligrams recommended by some authorities. These dietary problems start early in childhood and continue into adulthood. Additionally, only a small fraction of female adolescents met the recommended intakes for calcium, fiber, and iron. Compared with home foods, away-from-home foods were higher in total and saturated fat and lower in cholesterol, fiber, calcium, iron, and sodium. With increasing popularity in dining out, efforts to improve children's diets may need strengthening.