Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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Mixed methods evaluation of the COVID-19 changes to the WIC cash-value benefit for fruits and vegetables

Recent cash-value benefit (CVB) increases are a positive development to help increase WIC participant fruits and vegetables (FV) access. This mixed method study aimed to evaluate (a) the CVB changes’ impact on FV access among WIC child participants measured by CVB redemption rates, (b) facilitators and barriers to CVB changes’ implementation, and (c) differences in More

Date: April 2024

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

Promoting Healthier Purchases: Ultraprocessed Food Taxes and Minimally Processed Foods Subsidies for the Low Income

Fiscal policies can shift relative food prices to encourage the purchase and consumption of minimally processed foods while discouraging the purchase and consumption of unhealthy ultraprocessed foods, high in calories and nutrients of concern (sodium, sugar, and saturated fats), especially for low-income households. The 2017–2018 packaged food purchase data among U.S. households were used to More

Date: April 2024

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Pricing & Economics

Associations of Increased WIC Benefits for Fruits and Vegetables With Food Security and Satisfaction by Race and Ethnicity

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutrition support for racially and ethnically diverse populations. In 2021, the monthly cash value benefit (CVB) for the purchase of fruits and vegetables increased from $9 to $35 and was later adjusted to $24. This study investigated, by racial and ethnic groups, whether More

Date: March 2024

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

Centering equity in FDA regulation: Front-of-package food label effects in Latino and limited English proficiency populations

This project aims to determine the front-of-package label design that is most effective at helping Latino consumers identify and choose healthier products. The project also aims to explore whether the benefits of front-of-package design differ by English proficiency. Participants will include 4,000 US adults of parental age (18-55 years old) who identify as Latino. Participants More

Date: March 2024

Resource Type: Commissioned Research Project Summary

Focus Areas: Beverages Food Marketing

Effects of front-of-package non-sugar sweetener disclosures on parents’ perceptions and selection of sweetened food and beverage products for their children

The project aims to use an online randomized experiment to 1) evaluate the impact of front-of-package (FOP) non-sugar sweetener (NSS) disclosures on a) parents’ selection of unsweetened products and b) parents’ selection of products with NSS and use focus group discussions to 2) examine parents’ understanding and perceptions of NSS and FOP NSS disclosures, 3) More

Date: February 2024

Resource Type: Commissioned Research Project Summary

Focus Areas: Beverages Food Marketing

WIC Fruit and Vegetable Study

The Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition was funded by Healthy Eating Research to conduct a study exploring how the policy changes in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) cash value benefit (CVB), or fruit and vegetable money, during the pandemic impacted the WIC program and child access to fruits and More

Date: January 2024

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

Food Insecurity and the Child Tax Credit

Food insecurity puts people at risk for many poor physical and mental health outcomes. Food insecurity stayed stable during much of the COVID-19 pandemic but rose significantly from 2021-2022 among U.S. households with children. Many federal supports were offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. These included expansions in food assistance programs like SNAP, as well as More

Date: January 2024

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Food Access

Supporting the Wake Forest School of Medicine in implementing a WIC referral program within electronic health records to optimize WIC participation

The United States has an ongoing maternal and infant health crisis, characterized by stark disparities. The WIC program could equitably improve health outcomes, but it is underutilized. Identifying strategies for healthcare systems to efficiently connect pregnant patients with WIC is a public health and policy priority. This study will use the electronic health record (EHR) More

Date: November 2023

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Early Childhood Nutrition Policy & Programs

Assessing participation in and implementation of summer electronic-benefits-transfer and non-congregate-meal programs in rural areas

Summer EBT and non-congregate meals are summer meal options that have known associations with reducing food hardship and barriers to food access. But take-up can vary across states, which creates disparities among marginalized populations. The study aims to analyze the coverage, take-up, and implementation decisions made around Summer EBT and non-congregate meals. The research team More

Date: November 2023

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

Evaluating the impact of state-level economic-support policies on the nutritional health of kids and families

To address ongoing concerns of child poverty across the United States, states have introduced and modified family economic security policies related to the state minimum wage (MW) and state earned income tax credit (EITC). While poor nutritional health disproportionately impacts children who experience poverty, few studies have examined the potentially beneficial effects of state-level MW More

Date: November 2023

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Food Access Pricing & Economics