Our research focuses on improving nutrition, health, and quality of life of low-income population through community-based nutrition interventions.

Recent Awards

Joint Korean Society of Community Nutrition and Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior’s Achievement Award, 2017, Jung Sun Lee

2017 Endsley-Peifer Student Research Award from the College of FACS, 2017, Sarah Stotz

Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior ACPP Health Promotion Policy Award, The Georgia CAFE project, 2016, Members of the project team include Jung Sun Lee, Temitope Walker and Mary Ann Johnson

Mary Erlanger Graduate Fellowship for the 2016-2017 academic year, UGA Graduate School, 2016, Temitope Walker

Bill and June Flatt Outstanding Extension and Outreach Faculty Award, UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences, 2016, Jung Sun Lee

View all Foods and Nutrition Awards

Research Projects

Investigators:
Lee, Jung Sun; Cotwright, Caree; Bales, Diane; Shannon, Jerry; Murray, Debbie; Hibbs, Judy

The goal of the University of Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (UGA SNAP-Ed) is to help low-income adult Georgians establish healthy eating habits and a physically active lifestyle through evidence-based nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions based on collective capacity of UGA and the existing infrastructure of the UGA Cooperative Extension. Since reestablished in 2013, the UGA SNAP-Ed has been developing innovative, culturally appropriate evidence-based multilevel interventions using a unique model combining robust interdisciplinary research and outreach, Cooperative Extension, and collaboration with diverse stakeholders across the state.

UGA SNAP-Ed program consists of four projects:

1)Food Talk: Face-to-face nutrition education using a paraprofessional peer educator model, currently offered in 7 counties (Bartow, Clarke, Clayton, Coffee, DeKalb, Fulton and Gilmer)

2)Food eTalk: Innovative, mobile-friendly online eLearning nutrition education tailored to the specific needs of SNAP-Ed eligible adults available in 159 counties

3)Social Marketing Food Talk intervention: A social marketing campaign delivering targeted nutrition education and public health messages targeted to low-income Georgians using variety of social marketing and social media approaches including print, online, promotional, and mass medias in 159 counties

4)Healthy Child Care Georgia (HCCG): A multi-level obesity prevention intervention using policy, systems, and environment (PSE) and direct education approaches to improve the child care wellness environment, increase nutrition education, and increase knowledge and self-efficacy of early care and education (ECE) teachers. 

Website: https://foodtalk.org/

Funding Source:
USDA

Investigators:
Lee, Jung Sun; Bhargava, Vibha

Description:
The purpose of this study is to better understand the complex relationships among poverty, food insecurity, and healthcare utilization in low-income older adult population. For the purposes of this study, the best available secondary dataset was established by merging data from the ongoing GA Advanced POMP6 (PI: Jung Sun Lee) and from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. By using this unique dataset, this study also intends to explore and inform ways to better estimate the economic cost of food insecurity as well as the economic benefits of its potential solutions in vulnerable older population. This study has provided the first estimates of Medicare and out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures by food insecurity status in older adults. The findings, experiences, and lessons learned from this study have a strong potential to contribute to the theory, methodology, literature, and practice in the field of nutrition and healthcare in older adults.

Funding Source:
UGA Poverty and Economy Grant, GA Division of Aging Services

Investigators:
Lee, Jung Sun; Johnson, Mary Ann; Brown, Arvine

Description:
This is a cooperative research project between the GA Division of Aging Services and Department of Foods and Nutrition, UGA. This study was designed to accurately measure the impact of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program (OAANP) participation on food security and nutritional and general health status while adopting several innovative approaches including a longitudinal study design, the waitlisted people, and a validated modified 6-item U.S. Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM) as a sensitive outcome measure of meal services. The findings from this project suggest several recommendations in monitoring the performance of the OAANP in older adults in future studies and in other states and nationally. Georgia State Unit on Aging is now adopting some of those approaches to the Georgia Aging Information Management System to monitor client needs and performance of the OAANP in a timely and accurate manner at the state and local levels.

Funding Source:
USDA ERS, DHHS AoA, GA Division of Aging Services

Investigators:
Lee, Jung Sun, Johnson, Mary Ann; Lindbloom, Nancy

Description:
The overall goal of this project is to help low-income older and disabled Georgians access food through assistance in obtaining benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps). Georgia CAFE was originally developed and pilot-tested in the Athens area in 2010 based on collaborations among UGA Department of Foods and Nutrition, Georgia Legal Services Program, state and local GA DFCS, and GA DAS and Aging Services Network.

Initial efforts were to develop and validate an advocate training program and to establish best practice models for sustainable SNAP advocate training and application assistance tailored to the unique needs of various community partners serving low-income older and disabled Georgians including Athens Community Council on Aging, UGA Campus Kitchen, Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, and the Aging Services Network. Georgia CAFE has been training more than 100 SNAP advocates and the training models now serve low-income older Georgians in nearly 30 urban and rural counties in Georgia to help them apply and receive SNAP benefits.

Georgia CAFE’s efforts have been expanded to include policy analysis and advocacy to streamline the SNAP application and verification process for older Georgians with a focus on the SNAP medical expense deduction. Georgia CAFÉ provided research and practice evidence for GA DFCS to develop, submit, and obtain federal approval for SNAP Standard Medical Expense Deduction (SMED) policy effective Oct 1, 2015. This new policy change will affect approximately 27% of the 1.8 million Georgians receiving SNAP in Georgia.

Website: http://www.fcs.uga.edu/fdn/georgia-cafe

Funding Source:
USDA, GA Division of Aging Services, Northeast Georgia Area Agency on Aging

Investigator:
Lee, Jung Sun

Description:
The purpose of this study is to better understand challenges and opportunities low-income individuals are facing to follow healthy dietary patterns and nutrition recommendations in their communities. This study develops and pilot-test both objective and subjective food environment measures while using the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methodology. The conceptual understanding, measures, and experiences resulting from this study are essential to improve food security and to strengthen the capacity of our food environments to provide nutritious, high quality, and affordable foods to the people of Georgia as well as in the South. Specifically, the established methodology and findings can be used to identify geographic areas with low availability of and low access to food resources and their relationships with nutritional health status of low-income individuals.

Funding Source:
USDA, UGARF Junior Faculty Research Grant, UGA FCS Faculty Research Grant, Florida Health Department, ADA Foundation's Amy Joy Student Research Award

Meet the Community Nutrition Lab Staff

Name Job Title / Department Contact
Jung Sun Lee

Jung Sun Lee

Professor and Faculty of Gerontology

Foods and Nutrition

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

129 Barrow Hall
115 DW Brooks Dr.
Athens, GA 30602
706-542-6783

Sarah Stotz

Sarah Ann Stotz

Post Doc Research Associate

Foods and Nutrition

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

128 Barrow Hall
115 DW Brooks Dr.
Athens, GA 30602
nonumber

Temitope Walker

Temitope Aiyejorun Walker

Ph.D. Candidate

Foods and Nutrition

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

142 Barrow Hall
115 DW Brooks Dr.
Athens, GA 30602

Nicholas  Slagel

Nicholas Slagel

Ph.D. Student

Foods and Nutrition

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

128 Barrow Hall
115 DW Brooks Dr.
Athens, GA 30602
n/a

Taylor Newman

Taylor Nicole Newman

MS/DI Student

Extension and Outreach, Foods and Nutrition

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

128 Barrow Hall
115 DW Brooks Dr.
Athens, GA 30602
8502129775