Nutrition education a critical investment in the healthy future of Oregon
Poor diet can significantly contribute to heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes
Delivering nutrition education for limited-income Oregonians is a high priority for OSU Extension. Poor diet and lack of physical activity significantly contribute to four of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States—heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes—and adversely influence disorders such as obesity, hypertension, and osteoporosis. A national study by the USDA concluded that large educational interventions to 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.
Studies in several states have found that for every dollar invested in nutrition education, a future savings in health care costs ranging from $3.63 to $10.75 may be expected. The Oregon Nutrition Education Program, offered in 34 Oregon counties, provides education to help limited-income Oregonians make healthy food choices, handle food safely, manage their food budgets, and choose active lifestyles. OSU Extension Service faculty and staff deliver the community-based program to adults and youth via nutrition education classes, and through indirect means such as displays, newsletters, and direct mail.