According to the World Health Organization, nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body's dietary needs.
Good nutrition – an adequate, well balanced diet combined with regular physical activity – is a cornerstone of good health. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity. Good nutrition can help prevent disease and promote health.
There are six categories of nutrients that the body needs to acquire from food: protein, carbohydrates, fat, fibers, vitamins, and minerals, and water.
The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center nutrition programs include:
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)
The Southern University Ag Center's EFNEP is a unique program that is designed to assist limited-resource youth in acquiring knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behavior necessary for nutritionally sound diets, and to contribute to their personal development and the improvement of the total diet and nutritional well-being.
EFNEP Programming is currently available in the following parishes:
Avoyelles, Evangeline, Rapides, Lafayette, and St. Landry parishes.
Families First - Nutrition Education and Wellness System (FF-NEWS)
Food stamp recipients typically purchase food items based on family preferences, cultural food practices and other socioeconomic factors despite public health recommendations or USDA Dietary Guidelines. Consequently, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and cerebral vascular disease and specific forms of cancer (breast and colon), ranks high among leading causes of death for all racial groups in the United States. However, statistics indicate that rates are two to four times higher in ethnic minority groups (African-American, Native-American, and Latino/Hispanic) than in other population groups. There also exist high mortality rates not only for these chronic diseases, but high incidences of children and elderly malnutrition within limited-resource families. Limited-resource pregnant women and infants also have higher incidences of lower weight gain during pregnancy and higher percentages of low-birth weight.
FF-NEWS teaches food stamp recipients to make food selection and preparation choices that are consistent with their lifestyle/cultural practices, thus enhancing the health status of family members by effectively using all food resources for the purpose of holistic health for the family.
FF-NEWS Programming is currently available in the following parishes: Avoyelles, Evangeline, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Ascension, St. James, St. Tammany, Orleans, East Carroll, and West Carroll parishes.
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