This is a glossary of terms used on the SNAP-Ed Toolkit website.
Active commuting

Physical activity as a means of transport, which may include walking or bicycling. Public transportation is also included in active commuting because users have to use human transportation to access public transportation stops and their end destination. Also known as active transportation.

Active partnerships

May include two or more individuals who regularly meet, exchange information, and identify and implement mutually reinforcing activities that will contribute to adoption of one or more organizational changes or policies.

Adoption

When at least one change is made in writing or practice to expand access or improve the appeal of sites where people can make choices about food and beverages and/or engage in physical activity. These changes may include, but are not limited to, those in SNAP-Ed Strategies and Interventions: An Obesity Prevention Toolkit for States. Adoption does not mean that full-scale implementation has occurred.

Aerobic activity

Physical activity in which people move their large muscles in a rhythmic manner for a sustained period (such as running, brisk walking, bicycling, playing basketball, dancing, and swimming). During aerobic activity, a person breathes harder and the heart beats more rapidly to meet the demands of the body’s movement

Body Mass Index (BMI)

A low-cost and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight category, for example underweight, normal or healthy weight, overweight, and obesity. It is not a direct measure of body fatness, but correlates moderately with direct measures, such as bioelectrical impedance, underwater weighing, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and skinfold measures. The only measures required to calculate BMI are height and weight.

Centralization

A network analytics term that measures the extent to which communication and collaboration within the partnership is focused around one sector or one lead agency.

Champions

In the SNAP-Ed context, an individual who takes action to facilitate access and/or create appeal for improved healthy eating and physical activity choices, in the settings where SNAP-Ed programming is provided or in the broader community. Champions are community members whose activities go beyond the services delivered by the SNAP-Ed Implementing Agency in the local setting.

Channel

A means of communication or expression; a path along which information passes.

Clinical-community linkages

Relationships that exist when primary care clinicians make a connection with a community resource to provide certain preventive services such as tobacco screening and counseling.

Coalition

Group of individuals and organizations that commit to joint action, typically for a longer term, in adopting nutrition or physical activity practices, supports and/or standards. Key characteristics include: shared leadership, definition of roles, and generation of new resources.

Collaboration

Two or more organizations contributing to joint activities, each with identified personnel who help advise and make decisions about effective strategies and interventions. Characteristics include a system with shared impacts, a consensus decision-making process, and formal role assignments.

Collective impact

The commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.

Community

A group of people defined by geographic, demographic, and/or civic/political boundaries. For example, a “community” could consist of the residents of a town or a neighborhood, the members of a particular demographic group within a geographic region, or all individuals served by a group of community-based and/or governmental institutions.

Community policing

A philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. It comprises three elements:

  • Community partnerships between the law enforcement agency and those they serve to develop solutions and increase trust in police
  • Organizational transformation that aligns management, structure, personnel, and information systems to support community partnerships and problem solving (internal changes within the law enforcement agency)
  • Problem solving, which includes the process of engaging in the proactive and systematic examination of identified problems to develop and evaluate effective responses (an internal framework within the law enforcement agency)
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

A retail operation that sells shares in a future harvest that may or may not be realized. Farm or network/association of multiple farms that offers consumers regular (usually weekly) deliveries of locally grown farm products during one or more harvest season(s) on a subscription or membership basis.

Community-wide recognition programs

Programs with standards set by authoritative third parties to help civic leaders partner with the public, nonprofit, and business sectors to achieve collective impact–type goals such as obesity prevention or “livable communities.”

Complete Streets

A transportation policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient, and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation.

Cooperation

Arrangement between organizations working together in which one assists the other with information such as referrals, providing space, distributing marketing and client education materials, and hosting events open to the clients and community members.

Coordination

Arrangement between organizations working together in which one organization maintains autonomous leadership, but there is a common focus on group decision-making; emphasizes sharing of resources to aid in the adoption of policy, systems, and environmental changes, and associated promotion listed in MT4 and MT5.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Proper design, maintenance, and use of the built environment to enhance quality of life and reduce the incidence and fear of crime. Includes the following elements:

  • Natural surveillance achieved through lighting, removing concealed areas, and placing view points and entrances/exits for easy observation
  • Territoriality designated by signage, low fencing, or other landscape elements that delineate the transition between areas of different use
  • Access control through man-made (e.g., locks, fencing, or other security barriers) or natural (e.g., landscaping) mechanisms that discourage unwanted access
  • Activity support (e.g., aesthetics or activities) that promotes use to increase “eyes on the street”
  • Management and maintenance of landscaping, lighting, and other features
Cross-contamination

The physical movement or transfer of harmful bacteria from one person, object, or place to another. Cross-contamination is how bacteria can be spread.

Descriptive norms

Refer to the most common, actual behaviors and policy, system, or environment (PSE) scenarios; they represent how people perceive what is common and actually occurring, which is important for shaping and influencing behavior.

Direct-to-consumer marketing

Local food marketing arrangements in which growers/producers sell agricultural products directly to the final consumers, such as sales through farmers markets, CSAs, and farm stands.

Domain

Categories of settings where people eat, learn, live, play, shop, and work.

Duration

How long a person does an activity in any one session (e.g., mins/session).

Earned media/public relations

Unpaid coverage resulting from media outreach by SNAP-Ed programs/partners. May result from community events, forums, and media appearances and interviews or occur incidental to SNAP-Ed intervention activities.

Emerging

Newly created and growing in strength or evidence base.

Emerging interventions

Interventions that have been successfully implemented and show promise based on their underlying theory and approach but have not yet been fully evaluated in the field.

Environmental

Includes the built or physical environments, which are visible or observable and may include economic, social, normative, or message environments.

Environmental scan

A process that surveys programs, services, supports and other resources that are currently in place.

Every Student Succeeds Act

The most recent reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA; http://www.ed.gov/essa), which was passed in December 2015 and replaced the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Included in the ESSA are provisions that monitor and reallocate resources to schools and Local Educational Agencies to support schools and groups of students that exhibit achievement gaps and high dropout rates.

Evidence-based education

The integration of the best research evidence with the best available practice-based evidence into education interventions. The best research evidence refers to relevant rigorous research including systematically reviewed scientific evidence. Practice-based evidence refers to case studies, pilot studies, and evidence from the field that demonstrate obesity prevention potential.

Farm-to-school

Programs through which schools buy and feature locally produced, farm-fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, eggs, honey, meat, and beans on their menus. Farm-to-school implementation differs by location but always includes one or more of the following:

  • Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted, and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste test.
  • Education: Students participate in educational activities related to agriculture, food, health, or nutrition.
  • School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening.
Farmers market

A multi-stall market that sells fresh produce to the public at a central/fixed location.

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)

All organizations receiving grants under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS). FQHCs must serve an underserved area or population, offer a sliding fee scale, provide comprehensive services, have an ongoing quality assurance program, and have a governing board of directors. FQHCs qualify for enhanced reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other benefits.

Flexibility

Ability to move a joint through its full range of motion.

Follow-up

A minimum of 6 months post-intervention.

Food hubs

Collaborative regional enterprises that aggregate locally sourced food to meet wholesale, retail, institutional, and even individuals’ demand. They have become key entities in local food systems’ infrastructure allowing small and midsize farmers to adapt to increases in demand by outsourcing marketing to them.

Food insecurity

A household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. (This condition is assessed in the food security survey and represented in USDA food security reports.)

Food Policy Council (FPC)

A formalized entity established to focus on the food webs of a locality (city, county), region (multi-county), or state. FPCs typically have a primary goal of examining the operation of a local food system and providing ideas and recommendations for improvement through public policy change. They are innovative collaborations between citizens and government officials that give voice to the concerns and interests of many who have long been under-served or un-represented by agricultural institutions.

Food Resource Management (FRM)

The handling of all foods, and resources that may be used to acquire foods, by an individual or family. FRM education typically addresses topics such as meal planning, shopping strategies, food selection, budgeting, food preparation, and cooking strategies for improved household food security and to maximize the nutrition/health return on limited resources.

Food security

A condition in which all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Household food security is the application of this concept to the family level, with individuals within households as the focus of concern.

Free and Reduced Price (School) Meals (FRPM)

School meals that are fully or partially reimbursed with federal funds administered through the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, particularly through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Students living in households with income less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) are eligible for federally reimbursable free school meals, while those whose household income is between 131 percent and 185 percent of the FPL qualify for reduced price meals.

Frequency

How often a person does an activity (e.g. days/week).

Fruit drink or juice drink

Sweetened juice products with minimal juice content.

Funding

Money provided, especially by an organization or government, for a particular purpose.

General plan

Plan adopted at the city, county, or regional level, written to guide local growth and land development currently and over a long-term period, 10–20 years after adoption. The plans should be reviewed, and possibly updated every 5 years. It covers a range of topics, including public and private land development proposals, zoning, expenditure of public funds, availability of tax incentives, cooperative efforts, green measures for sustainable practices, and issues of great concern, such as farmland preservation or the infill in older neighborhoods areas. It is also called a comprehensive plan, land-use plan, or master plan.

Geographic scale or levels

Size or scope of an area or activity, categorized as local (ward, district, parish, neighborhood, city, county, or region), state, territorial, or tribal.

Greenway

A linear open space established along a natural corridor (e.g., an urban riverside corridor along a city waterfront or and an ecologically significant natural corridor that provides nature study and hiking).

Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL)

A multi-dimensional concept that includes domains related to physical, mental, emotional, and social functioning.

Healthy fitness zone

A designated criterion-referenced score on a Cooper Institute Fitnessgram test that indicates the child has a sufficient fitness level to provide important health benefits.

Healthy food outlets

Supermarkets, farmers markets, and produce stores.

Healthy food procurement

The practices used by public institutions to obtain the foods they serve and ensure that these foods promote healthy diets.

Healthy food ratio

This metric is a standardized measure to show the balance of food outlets in a census tract. It is calculated as: Healthy Food Ratio (Healthy food outlets ÷ Total food outlets) x 100.

High food security

No reported indications of food-access problems or limitations.

Hunger

An individual-level physiological condition that may result from food insecurity, or a potential consequence of food insecurity that, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food, results in discomfort, illness, weakness, or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation.

Impacts

The extent to which program outcomes lead to long-term and sustained changes.

Implementation

Pertains to whether the intervention was delivered with fidelity or as intended and whether the essential elements known to be important to the achievement of positive outcomes were actually and consistently implemented. To be effective, organizational policy changes and environmental supports should be made as part of multi-component and multi-level interventions to sustain the new changes or standards over time.

Implementing agency

Sub-awardee or grantee funded by State agencies to provide nutrition education and obesity prevention services.

In-kind support

Resources in the form of goods and services, rather than cash

Injunctive norms

Refer to what ought to be; they convey what is approved and disapproved by a group or society.

Intensity

How hard a person works to do an activity.

Intermediaries

People in a site or organization who approve, plan, and/or deliver interventions. In schools, these may be principals, teachers, or staff; in worksites, these may be employers, paid staff, or employee leaders; in community organizations, these may be paid staff or volunteers; in food stores, these may be company officials, managers and supervisors, or paid staff.

Intermediated sales

Strategy to promote the presence and affordability of healthier foods in retail and food service settings, allowing people more opportunities to make healthier food choices. Various programs and policies can contribute to healthier foods in these environments including providing incentives for supermarkets or small grocery stores to establish businesses in underserved areas; improving the quality, variety, and amount of healthier foods at existing retail and food service establishments; and promoting local foods.

Intervention type

Intervention type includes Direct Education (Direct Ed); Social Marketing; and Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change (PSE). For Direct Ed interventions, participants are actively engaged in the learning process with an educator and/or interactive media.

Key media outlets

Outlets with the greatest reach into and/or credibility with SNAP-Ed audiences and with intermediaries in key intervention channels.

Leveraged resources

All resources used to support nutrition or physical activity supports or standards. These resources may include funding, staffing, and in-kind contributions such as physical space and services.

Local

Relating to or occurring in a particular area, city, or town.

Local education agency

A public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a State, or for a combination of school districts or counties that is recognized in a State as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or secondary schools.

Local food production

Food is grown or raised and harvested close to consumers’ homes, then distributed over much shorter distances than is common in the conventional global industrial food system.

Low food security

In a given household, report of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet, but the quantity of food intake and normal eating patterns are not substantially disrupted.

Maintenance

Refers to the extent to which a learner continues to perform a behavior after a portion or all of the intervention responsible for the initial change in behavior has been removed.

Marginal food security

One or two reported indications of food insecurity—typically of anxiety over food sufficiency or shortage of food in the house. Little or no indication of changes in diets or food intake.

Market segments

The subsets of the total/general audience broken out by demographics such as income, education, ethnicity, language, age, or geography, or by psychographic profile.

Marketing activities

Marketing Activities, by type, include:

  • Advertising: Circulars and on-site ads, on-site signage, end-aisle and check-out displays
  • In-Language: Outlets that use a language other than English.
  • Public relations (“earned media”)
  • Promotion: Price, seasonal, commemorative specials; techniques of behavioral economics; incentives; loyalty programs; toy giveaways; movie tie-ins; coupons
  • Personal sales: Food demonstrations and taste tests, expert speakers, trainings, individualized loyalty programs, online outreach
Media advocacy

Technique by which stakeholders conduct activities that influence the selection of SNAP-Ed topics by the mass media and shape the debate/discussion about these topics to create policy, systems, and environmental change.

Media coverage

Measure of the degree to which SNAP-Ed funds are able to address issues that generate public interest and support for larger-scale change using the media environment, as well as reach large numbers of general market and SNAP-Ed eligible audience segments, thus adding to the impact of direct services and on-site programs. Media coverage captures the sources and amounts of mass communications generated in whole or in part by SNAP-Ed that build awareness, momentum, and normalization of positive community change and new social norms sought by SNAP-Ed agencies and partners.

Media practices

The routine, voluntary business activities of media outlets including, but not limited to, outlet-initiated news, editorial, and feature coverage; sponsorships; community campaigns; and philanthropy.

Multiplier

A multiplier is the number of times money circulates within a region following a transaction; it is a marker of local economic impact.

Muscular endurance

Ability to exert submaximal force repeatedly against resistance.

Muscular strength

Ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert maximal force.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

The largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas.

Needs assessment

The process of identifying and describing the extent and type of health and nutrition problems and needs of individuals and/or target populations in the community.

Network

A formalized group of individuals and organizations characterized by ongoing dialogue and information sharing.

Network analysis

The process of investigating social structures through the use of network and graph theories. It characterizes networked structures in terms of nodes (individual actors, people, or things within the network) and the ties or edges (relationships or interactions) that connect them.

Nutrition assistance

A program designed to help low-income people meet their nutritional needs. Examples include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

On-farm market

A farmer/producer with a one-stand operation that sells a variety of fruits and vegetables (produced by the farmer) directly to the public.

Open streets

Community-based programs that promote the use of public space for physical activity,recreation, and socialization by closing streets temporarily to motorized vehicles, allowing access to pedestrians.

Organization

An entity consisting of multiple people, such as an institution or an association, that has a collective goal and is linked to an external environment

Outcome

The desired benefit, improvement, or achievement of a specific program or goal.

Partners

Organizational entities that offer site(s) or services for conducting SNAP-Ed activities with or without SNAP-Ed funding.

Physical activity

Any body movement that works muscles and requires more energy than resting.

Policy

A written statement of an organizational position, decision, or course of action.

Population-based data collection

The inclusion of a total population, e.g., your entire core SNAP-Ed population, or a representative sample (at least 15%) from each funded partner/subcontractor. If a sample is used, ideally, the sample is selected randomly. The sample should reflect the characteristics (age, ethnicity, working status, etc.) of your client population as a whole. Selection bias is to be avoided; if possible, translate question items so that non-English-speaking respondents can participate. This is particularly important if the instrument is being administered directly to your SNAP-Ed population and you have a significant number of non-English speakers. The same instrument or question items should be used year-to-year for surveillance purposes.

Practice-tested

An approach based upon published or unpublished evaluation reports and case studies by practitioners working in the field that have shown positive effects on individual behaviors, food/physical activity environments, or policies.

Practice-tested interventions

Interventions that have evidence derived from practice in the form of evaluation data or reports.

Program recognition

Any aggregate of nutrition and physical activity environmental changes and/or practices implemented by SNAP-Ed partners that fit award criteria established by specific national, state, or local agencies for PSE change. Recognition programs vary in how often recertification is required, e.g., annually, every 3 years or every 5 years, as well as whether recognition is awarded based on self-certification or if it is monitored objectively by a third-party organization.

Program recognition levels

Levels of activity or achievement typically set by external bodies for recognition awards. Examples might include bronze, silver, and gold or 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star.

Project reach

How far the project stretches in achieving the end goal.

Quality-adjusted life year (QALY)

An outcome measure that considers both the quality and the quantity of life lived. The QALY is based on the number of years of life added by interventions.

RE-AIM model

A model to help structure evaluation to answer practical questions about program implementation and sustainability (see http://www.re-aim.org/).

Reach

Number of SNAP-Ed eligibles who encounter the improved environment on a regular (typical) basis and are assumed to be influenced by it.

Readiness

The state of being fully prepared to make a behavior change.

Recall

In memory refers to the mental process of retrieval of information from the past. Along with encoding and storage, it is one of the three core processes of memory.

Recreation spaces

Outdoor, open-air space that is used principally for active and/or passive recreation use, developed either by the public or private sector, and is counted towards the open space standard of provision. It is sometimes simply referred to as “open space.” Subject to compliance with certain criteria, it includes open space provided both at the ground level and on a podium.

Refined grains

Grains that have been milled to give them a finer texture and improve their shelf life. This process removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.

Regional food systems

The networks of food production, delivery, and sales that bring food and beverages to consumers and institutions. Regional food systems usually include a focus on direct-to-consumer marketing, namely local food marketing arrangements in which growers/producers sell agricultural products directly to the final consumers, such as sales through farmers markets, CSAs, and farm stands.

Research-tested interventions

Interventions that have been published in the peer-reviewed literature.

Safe routes to school

A program to make walking and bicycling to school safer and more accessible for children, including those with disabilities, and to increase the number of children who choose to walk and bicycle.

Sectors

Areas of the economy in which businesses share the same or a related product or service.

Sedentary behavior

Too much sitting or lying down at work, home, in social settings and during leisure time.

Setting

Setting is the type of site where the intervention takes place; interventions may be implemented in more than one setting. The Community setting includes interventions designed to help children and families and/or interventions implemented in neighborhoods, parks, faith-based organizations, or other community locations. This also includes recreation and emergency food provision settings.

Settings

Types of sites, for example schools, work sites, food stores, and parks.

Shared-use street

A strategy providing an infrastructure that supports multiple recreation and transportation opportunities, such as walking, cycling, and use of wheelchairs, to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Shared-use streets make it easy to cross the street and supports active transportation. Also called mixed-use street.

Sites

The physical locations or places where SNAP-Ed activities occur.

SNAP-Ed agencies

SNAP-Ed agencies include state agencies that administer SNAP, Implementing Agencies (e.g., Land-grant universities, other universities, public health departments, Indian Tribal Organizations, and nonprofit organizations), and their sub-contractors.

SNAP-Ed Connection

A dynamic online resource center for State and local SNAP-Ed providers: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/

SNAP-Ed eligible persons

The target audience for SNAP-Ed, specifically SNAP participants and low-income individuals who qualify to receive SNAP benefits or other means-tested federal assistance programs, such as Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. It also includes individuals residing in communities with a significant low-income population.

SNAP-Ed Library

The SNAP-Ed Library is the place for locating SNAP-Ed tools and resources: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/snap-ed-library.

Social marketing

The process of combining commercial marketing methods with public health approaches in order to achieve significant, large-scale public benefits. Commercial marketing techniques include, but are not limited to, formative research and pilot testing; paid or public service advertising; other forms of mass communications, including interactive websites and social media; public relations or earned media; promotions; and consumer education. Public health approaches are consumer engagement; community development; public/private partnerships; and policy, systems, and environmental change.

Social marketing campaigns

Campaigns delivered to one or more SNAP-Ed market segments on a population basis, across a large geographical area (town/city, county, region/media market, statewide, multi-state, national). They are typically branded (with a name, tagline, visual logo, lookand-feel); communicate a common call to action; and are delivered in multiple complementary settings/channels, engaging intermediaries in those settings/channels and focusing on one or more priority behavior changes.

Social norms

Expectations held by social groups that dictate appropriate behavior and are thought of as rules or standards that guide behavior.

Solid fats

Fats that are solid at room temperature, like beef fat, butter, and shortening. Solid fats mainly come from animal foods and can also be made from vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation.

Specific message

A communication with some identifiable aspect (e.g., logo, jingle, character) that the respondent could not name unless he or she had been exposed to the communication.

State agency

The agency of State government, including the local offices thereof, which is responsible for the administration of the federally aided public assistance programs within the State, and in those States where such assistance programs are operated on a decentralized basis; it includes the counterpart local agencies, which administer such assistance programs for the State agency.

Structured physical activity

Teacher-led activities for toddlers and preschoolers that are developmentally appropriate and fun. Such activities should include:

  • Planned, focused activities designed to improve age-appropriate motor skill development. The activity should be engaging and involve all children with minimal or no waiting.
  • Daily, fun physical activity that is vigorous (gets children “breathless” or breathing deeper and faster than during typical activities) for short bouts of time.
Sugar-sweetened beverages

Liquids that are sweetened with various forms of added sugars. These beverages include, but are not limited to, soda (regular, not sugar-free), fruitades, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened waters, and coffee and tea beverages with added sugars. Also called calorically sweetened beverages.

Supports

Changes in written policies, organizational systems, and the observable (physical or “built”) or communications environments that make healthy choices easier and more desirable.

Surveillance

Monitoring of behavior, activities, or other changing information using an ongoing,systematic data collection, analysis, and dissemination tool. Surveillance data can identify the need for SNAP-Ed intervention and measure their effects on the populations or conditions monitored.

Sustainability

The continued use of intervention components and activities for the continued achievement of desirable intervention and population outcomes.

Sustainability plan

A written document that describes the priorities and action steps that will be taken to ensure the long-term sustainability of a SNAP-Ed intervention or initiative.

Systems

A group of related parts that move or work together within a whole organization or a network of organizations.

Systems changes

Unwritten, ongoing, organizational decisions or changes that result in new activities or new ways of conducting business that reach large proportions of people the organization or network of organizations serve.

Target behavior

Target behavior includes Breastfeeding (BF), Food (e.g., healthy eating, nutrition standards), and Physical Activity (PA).

Total audience/general market/general audience

The total number of people that listen, view, read, or otherwise engage with media formats, not broken out by demographics or other segmentation.

Total food outlets

Healthy food outlets as well as fast food restaurants, convenience stores, and corner stores.

Transtheoretical model

An integrative, biopsychosocial model to conceptualize the process of intentional behavior change. Whereas other models of behavior change focus exclusively on certain dimensions of change (e.g., theories focusing mainly on social or biological influences), the TTM seeks to include and integrate key constructs from other theories into a comprehensive theory of change that can be applied to a variety of behaviors, populations, and settings.

Unexpected benefits

Unanticipated, indirect, serendipitous, or incidental positive changes in SNAP-Ed communities, with partners, or among populations that occurred in association with or as an outgrowth of SNAP-Ed interventions, above and beyond the direct outcomes of sustained implementation. Typically, these benefits are the result of increased partner participation; positive reputation or publicity; outreach by SNAP-Ed staff, champions, and organizational partners; and planned efforts to multiply, leverage, or extend the reach of SNAP-Ed resources.

Unstructured physical activity

Child-led free play for toddlers and preschoolers in which children are left to their own devices within a safe, active environment. Unstructured activity should include:

  • Activities that respect and encourage children’s individual abilities and interests.
  • Teacher engagement with children, support for extending play, and gentle prompts and encouragement by teachers, when appropriate, to stay physically active.
Very low food security

Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.

Whole grains

Grains that contain the entire kernel—the bran, germ, and endosperm.