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Defeat Diabetes
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Public Food Program A Good Investment

By Daniel H. Rasolt

Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2008

(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- A recent Cornell "cost-effectiveness"study has shown that a New York program that aims to educate low-income adults about healthy diets and nutrition yields a $10 to $1 cost benefit.
 
The New York State Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), is a public program which "aims to provide low-income adults with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors they need to improve their family's diet and nutritional well-being." The program, among other things, was intended to reduce health care costs in the long run for both the individual and the state.
 
According to the study, which accounted for 5,730 "graduates" of this program, approximately $900 was spent on each graduate.  By performing a cost-benefit analysis in reference to"benefits from a societal perspective," it was determined by researchers that "the quality-of-life improvements produced by EFNEP were estimated to be worth more than $49 million. The benefit-to-cost ratio was therefore $9.59 per $1容ach dollar spent on EFNEP resulted in about $10 in benefits."
 
Low-income individuals characteristically have much higher rates of conditions closely linked to poor diets, such as heart disease and diabetes.  It's believed that in addition to having less money to afford a well-balanced diet, low income individuals have less access to proper education and information that would explain the dangers of poor eating habits. EFNEP looks to provide those who are disadvantaged with this very valuable information.
 
The findings suggest that EFNEP is a good investment of tax dollars and should be expanded outside of New York state. EFNEP in New York is funded federally, locally, and through the state, a formula which could be used in other states and districts.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Curan, Megan. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior news release. May 2008.

Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.

Copyright © 2008 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

 
 
 
 
 
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