Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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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

COVID-19 relief measures and food insecurity among low-wage worker families

During the COVID-19 pandemic, record numbers of households, including nearly 14 million children, reported not having enough to eat. In response, the federal government enacted a set of far-reaching relief measures, expanding both USDA nutrition assistance programs as well as other economic safety net measures. Within a sample of low-wage workers with children, this research More

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

Additional Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers for Pregnant WIC Clients: An Equity-Focused Strategy to Improve Food Security and Diet Quality

Women with low household income and from racial/ethnic minority groups are at elevated risk of food insecurity. Food insecurity during pregnancy is associated with overall less healthy diets, lower intake of the pregnancy-supportive nutrients iron and folate, and significant variations in diet across the course of a month. The goal of this study was to More

Date: June 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Nutrition Policy & Programs

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

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

Nutrition standards for the charitable food system: challenges and opportunities

Food insecurity is associated with increased risk of chronic disease and poor dietary intake. The United States charitable food system, a complex network of food banks, pantries and congregate meal sites, provides food for millions of low-income households each year. Food banks and pantries play a critical role in supporting food security and are an More

Date: March 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Food Access

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

Nutrient Warnings: Summary of the Scientific Literature and Policy Recommendations

Nutrient warnings, including warnings on packaged foods and restaurant menus, can be used to show when a food or drink has high levels of calories or unhealthful nutrients like sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. As of December 2021, calorie and nutrient warnings (including for sodium, saturated fat, and sugar) are required on packaged food More

Date: December 2021

Resource Type: Fact Sheet

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Food Retail