Best Practices in Curricula Revisions: Using the Evidence-Based Eating Smart • Being Active as an Exemplar

Published:February 20, 2020DOI:


      This article describes the processes employed to revise the widely used curriculum, Eating Smart • Being Active. Because of its popularity among nutrition education programs serving the low-income population, the curriculum developers felt it was important to share the revision process after the release of the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Extensive feedback during formative evaluation, updated content from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and a modern look resulted in a fully revised curriculum released in 2017. Program leaders should have confidence that their educators will be able to implement this evidence-based curriculum with fidelity. An outcome evaluation of the revised Eating Smart • Being Active curriculum is recommended.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access

      SNEB Member Login

      SNEB Members, full access to the journal is a member benefit. Login via the SNEB Website to access all journal content and features.


      Subscribe to Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture
        The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Policies.
        Washington, DC: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 2017
        • US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
        FY2019 SNAP-Ed Plan Guidance March 2018.
        Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture, 2018
        • Murimi MW
        • Kanyi M
        • Mupfudze T
        • Amin R
        • Mbogori T
        • Aldubayan K
        Factors influencing efficacy of nutrition education interventions: a systematic review.
        J Nutr Educ Behav. 2017; 49: 142-165
        • Achterberg C
        • Miller C
        Is one theory better than another in nutrition education? A viewpoint: more is better.
        J Nutr Educ Behav. 2004; 36: 40-42
        • Contento I
        Nutrition Education: Linking Research, Theory, and Practice.
        3rd ed. Jones & Barlett Learning, Burlington, MA2016
        • Silk KJ
        • Horodynski MA
        • Rienzo M
        • Mercer L
        • Olson B
        • Aldrich R
        Strategies to increase health literacy in The Infant Feeding Series (TIFS): a six-lesson curriculum for low-income mothers.
        Health Promot Pract. 2008; 11: 226-234
      1. Baker S, Auld G, MacKinnon C, et al. Best practices in nutrition for low-income audiences. Washington, DC: National Institute of Food and Agriculture; 2014. Accessed December 29, 2019.

      2. Eating Smart • Being Accessed December 29, 2019.

        • Auld G
        • Baker S
        • Conway L
        • Dollahite J
        • Lambea MC
        • McGirr K
        Outcome effectiveness of the widely adopted EFNEP curriculum Eating Smart • Being Active.
        J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015; 47: 19-27
        • Natker E
        • Baker SS
        • Auld G
        • McGirr K
        • Sutherland B
        • Cason KL
        Formative evaluation of EFNEP curriculum: ensuring the Eating Smart • Being Active curriculum is theory based.
        J Ext. 2015; 53
        Date accessed: December 29, 2019
      3. US Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020. 8th ed. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture; 2015. Accessed December 29, 2019.

        • Bandura A
        Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory.
        Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ1985
        • Knowles MS
        The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species.
        3rd ed. Gulf Publishing Co, Houston, TX1984
        • Norris JA
        From Telling to Teaching: A Dialogue Approach to Adult Learning.
        Learning By Dialogue, North Myrtle Beach, SC2003
        • Rogers K
        • Diker A
        • Kendall P
        • Baker S
        In-depth review of selected EFNEP curricula updated for the 2005 dietary guidelines and MyPyramid.
        Forum Fam Con Issues (FFCI). 2006; 11
        • Tiwari A
        • Aggarwal A
        • Tang W
        • Drewnowski A
        Cooking at home: a strategy to comply with US dietary guidelines at no extra cost.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017; 52: 616-624
        • Beauchamp MR
        • Harden SM
        • Wolf SA
        • et al.
        GrOup based physical Activity for oLder adults (GOAL) randomized controlled trial: study protocol.
        BMC Public Health. 2015; 15: 592
        • Dallman A
        • Abercrombie E
        • Drewette-Card R
        • Mohan M
        • Ritacco B
        • Ritacco B
        Elevating physical activity as a public health priority: establishing core competencies for physical activity practitioners in public health.
        J Phys Act Health. 2009; 6: 682-689
      4. US Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical activity guidelines for Americans. Accessed December 29, 2019.

      5. Qualtrics Survey: ESBA Revision Feedback Survey. Accessed February 11, 2020.

        • Murray E
        • Baker S
        • Auld G
        Nutrition recommendations from the US dietary guidelines critical to teach low-income adults: expert panel opinion.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018; 118: 201-210
      6. Krueger R, Casey MA. Telephone and Internet focus group interviewing. In: Focus Groups A Practical Guide for Applied Research. 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications; 2015:205–220.

      7. Eating Smart • Being Active. Curriculum Review Tool. Accessed February 11, 2020.

        • Blasé K
        • Fixsen D
        Core intervention components: identifying and operationalizing what makes programs work.
        Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Research Brief, US Dept of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC2013
        Date accessed: January 2, 2019
        • Durlak J
        • DuPre E
        Implementation matters: a review of research on the influence of implementation on program outcomes and the factors affecting implementation.
        Am J Commun Psychol. 2008; 41: 327-350
        • Dollahite J
        • Fitch C
        • Carroll J
        What does evidence-based mean for nutrition educators? Best practices for choosing nutrition education interventions based on the strength of the evidence.
        J Nutr Educ Behav. 2016; 48: 743-749
        • Murray EK
        • Auld G
        • Baker SS
        • et al.
        Methodology for developing a new EFNEP food and physical activity behaviors questionnaire.
        J Nutr Educ Behav. 2017; 49: 777-783