Study Finds USDA Nutrition Education Material Intended for Minorities Inadequate
Printed educational material sponsored by USDA that aims to promote proper nutrition and address hunger among low-income minorities is ineffective and inadequate, according to a study published in the January/February issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, the Native American Times reports. The report, by researchers from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, found that 20 of the 27 brochures and handouts distributed by USDA were "either irrelevant or of low relevance to food security" and that "very few of them were intended for minority populations." The reading level required to understand the material also was too high for the intended population and "lacked cultural relevance," and nearly all were written for the non-Hispanic white general population, the report found, noting that a few did address Hispanics and the elderly. Report co-author Robert John said, "[W]hatever is being done is not enough." The Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, said, "This paper points out that current USDA nutrition education materials could be improved to make them more helpful for people with limited incomes. People who struggle to put food on the table could benefit from guidance on how to budget and stretch their food dollars" (Native American Times, 1/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.