Healthy eating contributes to overall healthy growth and development, including healthy bones, skin, and energy levels; and a lowered risk of dental caries, eating disorders, constipation, malnutrition, and iron deficiency anemia. Overweight and obesity, influenced by poor diet and inactivity, are significantly associated with an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, joint problems, and poor health status.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide recommended diet and nutrition benchmarks for children, adults, older adults, and pregnant/postpartum women.  

At the program level, assessing success may be done by comparing diet and nutrition habits at program intake, at later intervals, and/or at exit. It is also meaningful to compare results for the current cohort with those of previous cohorts.

By Urban Institute


Surveys / Assessments


Sources Cited

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 6th Edition, 2005.  Washington, DC, U.S. Government Printing Office.

Mokdad AH, Ford ES, Bowman BA, et al. Prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and obesity-related health risk factors, 2001. Journal of the American Medical Association 2003;289(1):76-79.