Food and nutrition program reaches out to Hispanic community

By Diane Palmer

EFNP representative holding a hispanic child, photo by Sergio Nieto-MontenegroIn the last 10 years, South Carolina’s Hispanic population increased 211%, the fourth highest increase in the nation. Clemson scientists are seeking to help the group address nutrition-related health concerns.

“Obesity and related diseases – such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and heart disease – occur at higher rates with this population,” said Katherine Cason, state coordinator for Clemson’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). 

Cason and post-doctoral fellow Sergio Nieto-Montenegro are leading a research and outreach team in food science and human nutrition and public health sciences. Their research found that many Hispanic families have limited time, money or skills to purchase and prepare nutritious food. 

The team formed partnerships with Hispanic communities across the state to develop and deliver educational programs with culturally appropriate information through radio, newspaper and health fairs. Their goal is to help children, youth and families improve both their diet and their health.

For information: Katherine Cason, (864) 656-0539,