Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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Food Insecurity and Childhood Obesity: A Systematic Review

Addressing food insecurity while promoting healthy body weights among children is a major public health challenge. Our objective is to examine longitudinal associations between food insecurity and obesity in U.S. children aged 1 to 19 years. Sources for this research include PubMed, CINAHL, and Scopus databases (January 2000 to February 2022). We included English language More

Keywords: Food insecurity

Date: June 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Food Access

Promising and Low-Cost Strategies to Improve School Meal Consumption

The aim of this research brief is to highlight and summarize the evidence of promising, low-maintenance, and low-cost strategies that can be implemented by school districts to increase the consumption of healthy school meals. All of these strategies have been associated with meaningful improvements in meal consumption and require minimal funding and technical support, making More

Date: October 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: School & After School

Strategies to Improve School Meal Consumption: A Systematic Review

This systematic review evaluates studies examining initiatives, interventions, and policies to increase school meal consumption. Following PRISMA guidelines, this review was conducted using four databases and resulted in a total of 96 studies. The research evidence supports the following strategies to increase school meal consumption: (1) offering students more menu choices; (2) adapting recipes to More

Date: October 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: School & After School

Feeding Children and Maintaining Food Service Operations during COVID-19: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Implementation and Financial Challenges

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs are critical for the health and food security of U.S. schoolchildren, but access to these programs was disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic-related school closures in spring 2020. While temporary policy changes to the programs enabled school food authorities (SFAs) to pivot towards distributing More

Date: August 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

Improving Access to Free School Meals: Addressing Intersections Between Universal Free School Meal Approaches and Educational Funding

Free and reduced price meal application data are used to allocate billions of dollars annually in education funding. However, schools serving universal free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision meal service option or USDA’s COVID-19 waivers do not typically collect school meal applications. The loss of this data has caused confusion among school administrators about More

Date: July 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: School & After School

A Scoping Review of the Use of Indigenous Food Sovereignty Principles for Intervention and Future Directions

Indigenous food sovereignty (IFS) represents a community-led movement with potential to reduce health inequities, but no scoping review of the impact of taking an IFS approach on intervention research has been conducted. This review sought to: 1) describe intervention studies that employ IFS principles, and 2) describe the impact of studies using IFS principles on More

Date: July 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Healthy Communities

7 Key Findings on The Benefits of Healthy School Meals for All

Schools play a vital role in promoting children’s health and well-being. In the United States, schools contribute significantly to children’s overall diet quality and can provide up to half of their daily calories, especially among children from low-income families. Providing healthy school meals for all is a policy opportunity to help all children eat healthier. More

Date: June 2021

Resource Type: Infographic

Focus Areas: School & After School

Strengthening the Impact of USDA’s Child Nutrition Summer Feeding Programs During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

To address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, utilization of the USDA child nutrition summer feeding programs has drastically increased. Given the unprecedented use of the summer feeding programs, this research brief will (1) explain the meal pattern requirements and select operational differences between the summer feeding programs and the federal meal programs typically utilized More

Date: May 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

Special Issue on School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-I: Findings Related to Improving Diet Quality, Weight, and Disparities in U.S. Children

School meals are important contributors to the healthy diets of our nation’s children, especially those in food insecure households, according to new papers published in a special issue of the journal Nutrients. The papers address urgent policy challenges related to food security, childhood obesity, sugar consumption, and racial and ethnic disparities when it comes to More

Date: March 2021

Resource Type: Special Journal Issue

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

Identifying geographic differences in children’s sugar‐sweetened beverage and 100% fruit juice intake using health system data

This study aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of using health system data to examine the geographic distribution of sugar‐sweetened beverage intake and evaluate neighborhood characteristics associated with intake. Researchers extracted electronic health record data from a sugar‐sweetened beverage and 100% fruit juice screener used for children ages 1 to 17 years in eight pediatric practices in North More

Date: October 2020

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Beverages