Montana State University

Health & Human Development

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173540
Bozeman, MT 59717-3540

Tel: (406) 994-3242
Fax: (406) 994-2013
Location: 218 Herrick Hall

HHD Undergraduate Advising Office

Tel: (406) 994-4001
Fax: (406) 994-6314
Location: 121 Hosaeus PE Complex

Department of Health & Human Development

    Extension Food and Nutrition Programs:
  • Food safety
  • Nutrition for seniors
  • Prevention of eating disorders and obesity and enhancing body image, self esteem and fitness
  • Preventing nutrition-related chronic diseases and promoting health and wellness


Lynn Paul, EdD, RD

Extension Nutrition Specialist

101 Romney Gym
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3360 | 406.994.5696

Programs and Research Projects

Senior Nutrition Partnerships: Moving Toward Optimal Nutrition

The project’s goal was to improve nutritional outcomes in rural elders attending congregate Elderly Nutrition Programs (ENPs) through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Nutrition needs will be assessed and appropriate nutrition-related interventions will be developed to tailor meet the needs of the participants. The result will be creative and effective educational programs to increase the consumption of healthy foods. The following four strategies are examples of successful community nutrition projects for seniors utilizing this approach:

  1. The grocery store coupon project provides Seniors with a coupon book of two 50-cent coupons that could be redeemed at local grocery stores for fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned). Coupons will be distributed to Seniors through senior centers, churches, and congregate meal programs, at senior housing and through offices of coalition’s members.
  2. Good and tasty card snacks encourage the use of fruits and vegetables as snack options at Senior Center card parties.
  3. Intergenerational projects at a retirement home involve youth groups planting seeds and plants for a garden. The Family, Career and Community Leaders of American club or other youth groups could offer a Sunday nigh salad bar.
  4. Intergenerational projects at an assisted living home involve teaming a 4-H club with a Senior facility with the 4-H club expanded on existing flowerbeds to include a vegetable garden.

This project integrates research, education, and Extension/outreach in assessing and successfully meeting the nutritional needs of older adults in a rural setting. Stakeholder input has been obtained through county agents; state and local Office on Aging agencies; health departments; youth groups, Senior facilities; and local food businesses. Focus groups of seniors were used to direct the educational strategies developed.

Starting a Specialty Food Business: Knowing What Questions to Ask and Where to Find the Answers: A Video & Resource Guide.

This video and resource guide provides baseline information to the consumer, to identify and collaborate with the key agencies serving the consumer, to ensure a safe final product and incorporate economic and community development within Montana food systems. The topics covered in the video include: getting started in the specialty food business, determining the feasibility of a food business, developing a business and marking strategy, understanding labeling requirements, packing and co-packing, becoming informed on regulations, and locating resources. This has been an collaborative effort among MSU Extension; food businesses; state, tribal, and local health departments; MSU Department of Agriculture; Montana Department of Livestock; Montana Department of Agriculture; Mission Mountain Market and other food processors; and Intertribal Agriculture Cooperative.

Food Safety Works

Food Safety Works is a food safety education job-training program targeted to Montana high school students. High school students are receiving food safety training, which follows the well-known ServSafe guidelines of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, through a workforce training effort in the schools administered by family and consumer science teachers. This program has been incredibly successful due to the cooperation among high school students, teachers, MSU Extension and the food industry. The program, called "Food Safety Works," is delivered through family and consumer science classes. The lessons cover personal hygiene, food handling, safe temperatures and other food safety basics. Teens who complete the course receive a certificate as well as a skill that is valued in the workplace. Many say the additional training translates to extra dollars on the job. This food safety educational project is a partnership among Montana State University- Bozeman Extension, schools, Montana Beef Council, Team Nutrition, and others.

Montana's Pathways to Health

Preventing Eating Disorders is a statewide campaign to enhance public awareness of eating disorders and contributing cultural attitudes, with goals of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. The campaign's mission is to promote health and fitness for people of all shapes and sizes. The primary project is Get Real: Ads, Images, and the Truth" Media Literacy Project and Video. Media has a powerful impact on our culture, especially media in the form of advertising. Advertising aimed at teenagers portrays images of beauty and attractiveness that influence body image, self-esteem, and life choices. Media and advertising literacy is a process of inquiry and critical thinking that includes skills of analyzing, evaluating, interpreting, and creating media. Being media literate involves learning how media is constructed, the strategies used by media to communicate messages, and the impact media has on society and culture. Empowerment to action and advocacy to challenge media policies and practices are derived from media literacy. An increased need for media and advertising literacy correlates with the growing impact of advertising on many of children’s at-risk behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, negative body image, and violence. “Get Real: Ads, Images, and the Truth” is a MontanaPBS television broadcast that focuses on advertising literacy. A cast of Montana teenagers analyze and evaluate advertising, explore how advertisements are made, and examine the effect of advertising on perceptions of beauty and attractiveness. In addition, these teenagers discuss the process of developing and communicating their own personal style. This television program is unique in that viewers see Montana teens examine ads from their perspective and learn how to analyze and interpret advertising messages. Viewers observe what actions teens take to make their voices heard. Research studies assessing the impact of media literacy have found that students acquire skills such as critical thinking, self-awareness, assessment of environmental influences, and develop action behaviors that challenge advertising practices. Results of media literacy studies specifically addressing body image indicate that short-term changes included: 1) less anxiety about appearance and weight, 2) reduced idealization of thinness, and 3) reduced perception of credibility with the advertising message. Media education provides excellent opportunities for students to learn and practice critical thinking and action skills that are imperative for healthy adolescent development. This television program is available as a video accompanied by a media literacy resource guide for educators. The video and resource guide provide middle school and high school teachers and other educators of children with aids for teaching media literacy, especially in relation to advertising. The active learning strategies and activities demonstrated by the teenagers are referenced in the guide. Additionally, Internet resources on media and advertising literacy and body image are provided. The Montana Beef Council provided primary funding for this campaign. 

Specialties and Interests

  • Nutrition policy
  • Food and nutrition systems
  • Women’s nutrition and health
  • Nutrition-related community capacity building