Evaluation of US Department of Agriculture Foods Programs for Households Using Nutrition Guidelines for the Charitable Food System

Our aim was to evaluate the nutritional quality of the foods available from 3 USDA Foods programs for households (ie, The Emergency Food Assistance Program, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, and Commodity Supplemental Food Program) according to the Healthy Eating Research (HER) Guidelines for the Charitable Food System. Using the HER Guidelines, foods were categorized into a 3-tiered system (ie, choose often/green; choose sometimes/yellow; choose rarely/red) based on levels of saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar per serving, and presence of whole grains. The majority of USDA Foods were ranked green (57.3%) or yellow (35.5%). A small number of items were ranked red (3.3%) or were unranked condiments or cooking staples (3.9%).

Full citation: Gombi-Vaca, M. F., & Schwartz, M. B. (2023). Evaluation of USDA Foods Programs for households using nutrition guidelines for the charitable food system. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2023.02.012