Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

Focus Areas

Resource Types

Age Groups

Race/Ethnicity

Policy, system, and environmental interventions addressing obesity and diet-related outcomes in early childhood education settings: A systematic review

Early childhood education (ECE) settings play an important role in child dietary intake and excess weight gain. Policy, systems, and environment (PSE) approaches have potential to reduce disparities in children at higher risk for obesity. The purpose of this review was to (1) characterize the inclusion of populations at higher risk for obesity in ECE More

Date: January 2023

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Reducing Student Exposure to Digital Food and Beverage Marketing

Digital marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and adolescents is pervasive and undermines healthy eating. During the COVID-19 pandemic, students’ time spent online for both recreation and school using educational technology doubled from 3.8 to 7.7 hours per day for 12- to13-year-olds, and racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities widened with children of color More

Keywords: Digital marketing

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Report

Focus Areas: Food Marketing School & After School

Child and Adult Care Food Program: Impacts of COVID-19 Differences in Reimbursement Rates on Family Childcare Home Providers, Children, and Families

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the largest U.S. nutrition program for childcare, provides tiered reimbursements to family childcare homes (FCCHs) to serve healthy foods to a large proportion of children from households with low incomes. Due to COVID-19, all FCCHs on CACFP temporarily received the higher Tier I reimbursement rate. The aims More

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Food Marketing Practices of Major Online Grocery Retailers in the United States, 2019-2020

Food marketing influences consumers’ preferences for and selection of marketed products. Although a substantial body of research has described food-marketing practices in brick-and-mortar stores, no research has examined food marketing in online grocery retail despite its growing importance as a source of food-at-home purchases. This study aimed to develop and apply a coding instrument to More

Date: April 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Marketing Food Retail

Child-Directed Marketing, Health Claims, and Nutrients in Popular Beverages

Fruit drinks are a major source of added sugar in children’s diets. This study describes the associations between front-of-package child-directed marketing (i.e., sports, fantasy, or child-directed imagery; child-directed text) and (1) health-related claims and (2) nutrient content of fruit drinks, 100% juices, and flavored waters. Beverage purchase data from a national sample of 1,048 households More

Date: April 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Beverages Early Childhood Food Marketing

Kid Influencer Marketing: Gaps in Current Policies and Research

Most food advertisements that children see are for unhealthy foods and beverages. Paying “influencers”—online celebrities with large social media fan bases—to endorse or promote products on their social media accounts is a relatively new tool that companies use to market their products. Engaging kid influencers has the added bonus of reaching younger audiences. Kids may More

Date: March 2022

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Food Marketing

Marketing of sugar-sweetened children’s drinks and parents’ misperceptions about benefits for young children

Despite expert recommendations, U.S. parents often serve sugar-sweetened children’s drinks, including sweetened fruit-flavored drinks and toddler milks, to young children. This qualitative research explored parents’ understanding of common marketing tactics used to promote these drinks and whether they mislead parents to believe the drinks are healthy and/or necessary for children. We conducted nine focus groups More

Date: February 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Beverages Early Childhood

Front-of-package claims & imagery on fruit-flavored drinks and exposure by household demographics

Young children regularly consume sugary fruit drinks, in part because parents may falsely believe they are healthful due to front-of-package (FOP) claims and imagery. The goal of this study was to assess: 1) the prevalence of FOP claims/imagery on fruit-flavored beverages purchased by U.S. households with 0-5-year-olds, and 2) proportional differences in beverages purchased with More

Date: January 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Beverages Early Childhood

Food Outlet Density, Distance, and Food Quality Offered to Preschool-Aged Children at Family Child Care Homes

This study aimed to examine how food environments around family child care homes (FCCHs) are associated with the healthfulness of foods served to children. The study included cross-sectional data from a mail survey of 132 Mississippi FCCHs. Rural FCCHs with higher counts of supermarkets, convenience stores, and produce stores had lower compliance with selected best More

Date: December 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Early Childhood Healthy Communities

Changing Policies and Practices to Implement Beverage Consensus Recommendations

In 2018, Healthy Eating Research (HER)—a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)—developed a national research agenda to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and increase access to and consumption of safe drinking water among 0- to 5-year-olds. Through this process, it became clear that a lack of consistent recommendations for beverage More

Date: November 2021

Resource Type: Commissioned Research Project Summary

Focus Areas: Beverages Early Childhood