The University of Maryland's Public Health Informatics Research Laboratory and Maryland Cooperative Extension have collaborated on a nutrition education demonstration project featuring the Eat Smart, Be Fit, Maryland! Web site, a health promotion tool developed as part of the Eat Smart, Be Fit, Maryland! project. This website features nutrition and physical activity information and tools, as well as food budgeting resources and local information for Marylanders.
- Pilot Tested
Initial needs assessment data was used to determine priority areas to include in the web portal, a thematic concept, and website name. Three rounds of testing with the target population were conducted, using community member feedback, prior to the 2004 website launch. From 2004-2006, we piloted three intervention arms in three Maryland Counties to promote awareness of and collect website feedback. Based on the effectiveness studies, a combined community approach was used for disseminating the website, and the website was expanded to reflect a statewide audience. Process and outcome evaluation are used to assess effectiveness, and user's behavior change and satisfaction is measured.
The Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland! Web site is designed to teach users how to be healthy. Facts on healthy eating, proper exercise and food budgeting are featured on informational pages, worksheets, and games throughout the site.
The majority of the site cannot be accessed without registering, but registration is free. Users will have access to many new web pages on topics related to food budgeting, nutrition and health. Registered users will also have access to previous poll questions and answers, newsletter archives (which are distributed via email on a monthly basis) and offered the opportunity to "Ask The Coach" to ask health educators a nutrition question and see what others have already asked.