Extension teaches low-income Oregonians about healthy eating

Child eating
Studies show every $1 invested in nutrition education can save up to $10.75 in future health care costs. (Photo: Lynn Ketchum)

Nutrition education program is in 36 counties

Poor diet and lack of physical activity can contribute to heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes — and extra medical expenses. But there's hope. A USDA study concluded that large educational interventions that encourage Americans to improve their diets may prevent tens of thousands of cases of heart disease and save between $4 billion and $12 billion in health care expenditures and lost earnings over 10 years.

The OSU Extension Service is addressing this health crisis through its nutrition education program. It's conducted in partnership with more than 485 organizations in all 36 counties and on several Indian reservations. Programs use face-to-face and online learning as well as print media, displays, newsletters and direct mail. Limited-income Oregonians learn to make healthy food choices, handle food safely, manage their food budgets and choose active lifestyles.

The program makes over 225,000 contacts with Oregonians through public events and materials sent home to parents. It instructs over 34,000 youth in school, after-school and summer programming. It provides Spanish materials and instruction to nearly a third of its participants.

Contacts: Sally BowmanCenters for Disease Control and Prevention.

Share this