FNEC research, led by Dr. Jamie Dollahite, is focused on program effectiveness and the use of the socio-ecological model in research and practice in the field of nutrition education for low-income audiences. Previous FNEC work has included development of an innovative staff training model, research regarding program management that supports staff effectiveness, and development of an evidence-based curriculum for low-income parents of young children that integrates parenting practices with skills to promote healthy food choice and active play both at home and where children live, learn, and play.

Current Studies

Northeast Regional Nutrition Education Center of Excellence – Signature Research Program: The program is testing whether nutrition education delivered in combination with changes in policy, systems, and environments is more effective in increasing healthy nutrition behaviors and preventing obesity than either strategy alone. The center awarded funding for five research projects representing different program sizes, urban/rural settings, target audiences, methods of delivery, and race, ethnicity, and cultural contexts. Two projects are implemented in SNAP-Ed, and three in EFNEP.

Adopting Healthy Habits: A study of the development of environmental change efforts in counties in New York State with very different contexts in terms of coalition work focused on healthy food and activity environments for children. This research seeks to understand what is necessary to build the capacity of local nutrition educators to lead environmental change efforts conducive to healthy food and activity choices that will prevent childhood obesity.

Smarter Lunchrooms: A school-based intervention to change cafeteria environments and provide messages to parents to facilitate their support of healthy food choices in their children.

Mobile Technology to Enhance Nutrition Education: A study which aims to develop and pilot an intervention that provides social media as an enhancement to face-to-face education in EFNEP and SNAP-Ed.