NC State Extension

About Steps to Health

What is Steps to Health?

Steps to Health is North Carolina State University’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) Program. We educate and inspire limited resource North Carolinians to eat smart and move more through nutrition and food resource management education programs targeting elementary-age children, adults, Latino families, and older adults. Our goal is to help participants make healthy choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate.

The Steps to Health program is delivered by county-based N.C. Cooperative Extension staff across North Carolina. Partners include NC Department of Social Services; N.C. Cooperative Extension; Eat Smart, Move More, North Carolina; NC State University’s More In My Basket program, NC Division of Aging and Adult Services; local health departments; Head Start Programs, schools; and congregate nutrition sites.

Why Steps to Health?

The result of poor eating habits and physical inactivity is taking its toll on North
Carolinians, especially among those with low educational attainment and income.
Less than half of adults meet the minimum recommendations for physical activity,
42.3% consume fruit less than one time daily, and 22.4% consume vegetables
less than once a day. Among adults whose household income is less than
$15,000 a year, 33.9% meet physical activity recommendations and only 15.2%
consume the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Children are following closely in their footsteps, with only 1 in 4 eating recommended
amounts of fruits and vegetables and almost half spending more than 2 hours
watching television every day. As a result, obesity and related chronic diseases are
prevalent. North Carolina ranks 13th in the nation for obesity and 18th and 11th
highest for diabetes and hypertension, respectively.

Through direct education programs, policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change initiatives, and social marketing campaigns, Steps to Health is making a positive difference in the lives of limited resource individuals and families across North Carolina, and North Carolinians at large.

The Steps to Health SNAP-Ed program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service and works in collaboration with the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services.

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