Outreach programs in community nutrition are designed to teach community members how to develop healthy lifestyles, particularly in improving nutrition and promoting physical activity. The long-range goal of these efforts is to improve knowledge and behavior in order to prevent lifestyle-related diseases and chronic health conditions, and to reduce the incidence and mortality rates of such diseases and conditions. Targeted health conditions may include overweight and obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Current projects at Michigan State University that are focused on families with small children include:
Several MSU departments have partnered with community programs to develop education for pregnant and new mothers enrolled in Medicaid in the State of Michigan. The curriculum seeks to integrate nutrition and responsive parenting to help these new mothers develop healthy infant feeding practices. Research has included both new mothers and health care providers (doctors, nurses, Women Infant & Children’s (WIC) division nutritionists and nutrition educators) in the development of the educational curriculum.