Fighting obesity and improving nutrition in Michigan communities

Michigan State University Extension provides programs that focus on helping people gain the knowledge the need to buy and prepare nutritious, budget-friendly foods.

October 1, 2017 - Author: Tom Cummins

A child and her mother choosing healthy snack options at the grocery store.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Michigan has the 16th highest rate of obesity in the United States with a little more than 31 percent of adults considered obese and another 35 percent considered overweight.

Through funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, Michigan State University Extension delivers affordable, relevant, evidence-based education to help adults, young people and families in urban and rural communities be healthy across the lifespan.

Programs focus on helping participants gain the skills they need to buy and prepare nutritious, budget-friendly foods and increase physical activity. In 2016, these programs reached more than 119,000 people across the state in nearly 1,500 locations. Through the programs:

  • 79% of youth participants improved their abilities or gained knowledge about how to choose foods following the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • 80% of adult participants made a positive change in at least one nutrition practice, such as preparing foods without adding salt or using Nutrition Facts labels to make food choices.
  • 74% of adult participants made a positive change in at least one food resource management practice, such as planning meals in advance or comparing prices when shopping.

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