Academic journal article Human Ecology

Researchers: Every $1 Invested in New York Nutrition Program Reduces Participants' Health Care Costs by $10

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Researchers: Every $1 Invested in New York Nutrition Program Reduces Participants' Health Care Costs by $10

Article excerpt

For every dollar invested in teaching low-income adults in New York State about healthy food choices, the benefit is about $10 in reduced health care costs and improved productivity.

That's what a group of Human Ecology researchers--Jamie Dollahite, associate professor of nutritional science; Donald Kenkel, professor of policy analysis and management; and graduate student C. Scott Thompson--found in a recent study.

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They assessed the costs and benefits of the New York State Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), which gives low-income adults information and skills to improve their family's diet and nutritional well-being.

The study was published in the May/June issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

The researchers looked at the costs and benefits of the EFNEP program for 5,730 low-income adults who "graduated" from New York's six-session EFNEP program in 2000 at a cost of about $900 per person.

Using the same approach that the U.S. Office of Management and Budget has used in cost-benefit analyses, the researchers not only estimated how the program participants' changed behaviors affected their health and medical costs, but also their productivity, life expectancy, and quality of life. …

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