Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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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

The Impact of Pictorial Health Warnings on Purchases of Sugary Drinks for Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial

This study aimed to examine the impact of pictorial warnings on parents’ purchases of sugary drinks for their children in a naturalistic store laboratory. Parents of children ages 2 to 12 (n = 325, 25% identifying as Black, 20% Hispanic) completed a shopping task in a naturalistic store laboratory in North Carolina. Participants were randomly More

Date: February 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Beverages

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

Text Messages to Curb Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption among Pregnant Women and Mothers: A Mobile Health Randomized Controlled Trial

Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in childhood obesity in the United States originate in early life. Maternal sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is an early life risk factor for later offspring obesity. The goal of this study was to test the effects of policy-relevant messages delivered by text messages mobile devices (mHealth) on maternal SSB consumption. More

Date: December 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Beverages

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

Effects of Front-of-Package Disclosures on Parents’ Understanding of Ingredients in Sweetened and Unsweetened Children’s Drinks

The purpose of this study is to examine whether front-of-package (FOP) disclosures increase parents’ (of children ages 1-5) ability to accurately identify the amount of juice and the presence of added sugar and non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) in children’s drinks (fruit drinks, flavored waters, 100% juice and diluted juice/water blends). The specific aims are: (1) develop More

Date: September 2021

Resource Type: Commissioned Research Project Summary

Focus Areas: Beverages

Sweetened Beverage Taxes: Legislative Approaches to Revenue Dedication and Allocation that Advance Equity

The purpose of this analysis is to provide useful guidance to policymakers and advocates regarding sweetened beverage tax (SBT) allocation and dedication. The specific aims are to: 1) collect all state SBT bills proposed in the United States in the past ten years, and all adopted local laws along with a representative set of proposed More

Date: September 2021

Resource Type: Commissioned Research Project Summary

Focus Areas: Beverages Pricing & Economics

Designing warnings for sugary drinks: A randomized experiment with Latino parents and non-Latino parents

Sugary drink warnings are a promising policy for reducing sugary drink consumption, but it remains unknown how to design warnings to maximize their impact overall and among diverse population groups, including parents of Latino ethnicity and parents with low English use. In 2019, we randomized U.S. parents of children ages 2-12 (n = 1078, 48% More

Date: July 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Beverages

Perceptions of Arguments in Support of Policies to Reduce Sugary Drink Consumption Among Low-Income White, Black and Latinx Parents of Young Children

This study aimed to test for racial/ethnic differences in perceived argument strength in favor of structural interventions to curb childhood obesity among lower-income parents of young children. Study participants were parents of children (age 0-5 years) with an annual income <$40,000, stratified by White, Black and/or Latinx race/ethnicity. Race/ethnicity was not a significant predictor of More

Date: July 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Beverages

Restaurant kids’ meal beverage offerings before and after implementation of healthy default beverage policy statewide in California compared with citywide in Wilmington, Delaware

In 2019, California and Wilmington, Delaware implemented policies requiring healthier default beverages with restaurant kids’ meals. The current study assessed restaurant beverage offerings and manager perceptions. Pre-implementation, the most common kids’ meal beverages on California menus were unflavored milk and water (78·8 %, 52·0 %); in Wilmington, juice, milk and sugar-sweetened beverages were most common More

Date: April 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Beverages Food Retail