USDA Awards $746,827 to Improve ‘Shopping Practices of Adolescents’

By Eric Scheiner | May 20, 2016 | 3:08pm EDT
The USDA awarded nearly $800,000 to a program titled: "Supermarket Science: Multipronged Approaches to Increasing Fresh, Frozen and Canned Fruit and Vegetable Purchases." (AP Photo)

( - Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Thursday six universities have been awarded nearly $3.8 million in funding by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for programs designed to help fight obesity.

The USDA’s program descriptions for the six grants include:

--$746,827 to the University of Kentucky for the testing of the program “Smart Shopping.” According to the program description, Smart Shopping is “aimed at improving the shopping practices of adolescents with the ultimate goal of increasing fruit and vegetable intake.”

--$797,995 was awarded to the University of New England, Biddeford, Maine for the “Supermarket Science: Multipronged Approaches to Increasing Fresh, Frozen and Canned Fruit and Vegetable Purchases” program.

--The University of Maryland received $943,287 for a program designed to enhance implementation of school wellness policies. The efforts goal “is to create health promoting school environments that support healthy growth/development of children to prevent obesity.”

--The “Latino Fathers Promoting Healthy Youth Behavior” program at the University of Minnesota received $998,484. The project “aims to prevent obesity among Latino youth (10-14 years) by engaging fathers and youth in a culturally- and linguistically-appropriate prevention program,” according to the USDA description.

--An obesity program at the University of Montana has received $150,000 in funding to design and test the viability of an intervention to improve healthy eating among children in the Flathead Indian reservation.

--The University of Puerto Rico received $150,000 for their effort “to prevent and reduce the prevalence of obesity in Puerto Rican children, 12 to 14 years old, by changing behaviors and adoption of healthy eating practices through the development of culturally sensitive and age-appropriate nutrition education materials.”

In a press release, Secretary Vilsack also announced that the USDA is accepting applications for up to $7 million for additional projects next year. 

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