Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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Recommendations to Promote Healthy Retail Food Environments: Key Federal Policy Opportunities for the Farm Bill

The goal of this report is to make recommendations for policy, voluntary actions, and research areas to support in-store and online food environments that make healthy food and beverage choices easier for all consumers. All shoppers face barriers to purchasing nutritious food in a retail environment that disproportionately promotes unhealthy food products. However, retail marketing More

Date: October 2023

Resource Type: Report

Focus Areas: Food Retail Nutrition Policy & Programs

Structural racism and geographic access to food retailers in the United States: A scoping review

This scoping review summarized findings and key measures from U.S.-based studies that 1) examined associations between geographic indicators of structural racism (e.g., redlining, racial segregation) and access to food retailers (e.g., supermarkets, convenience stores) or 2) documented disparities in access by neighborhood racial/ethnic composition. In 2022, relevant scientific literature was reviewed using Covidence software. Independent More

Date: September 2023

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Access Food Retail

Evaluating the Impact of Emergency Food Benefits in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic on Supermarket Purchases among Families with Children

SNAP and WIC benefits increased in 2020-2021 to combat food insecurity due to COVID-19. Understanding these policies’ impact on household food purchase quality is crucial to guide future recommendations for these nutrition assistance programs. This study aims to assess the effect of changes to SNAP and WIC benefits implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic on the More

Date: June 2023

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

Healthy Community Stores Case Study Project Findings

Study Overview and Key Findings Improving healthy food access in low-income communities continues to be a public health challenge. One promising approach has been opening supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods or converting existing food retail operations to emphasize healthy options. The overall goal of this study was to use a case study approach to understand the More

Which Healthy Food Promotion Strategies Within Grocery Retail Settings Are Most Promising?

This review identifies intervention strategies implemented within U.S. grocery retail stores that are effective in improving the healthfulness of shoppers’ food and beverage purchasing and consumption. Results from our review demonstrate that nutritional scoring and nutritional messaging were the most rigorously tested and effective interventions. Additionally, simple interventions yield the most successful results and minimize More

Date: December 2022

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Food Retail

Encouraging Healthier Food and Beverage Purchasing and Consumption: A Review of Interventions within Grocery Retail Settings

This review identifies the most promising intervention strategies for promoting the purchase and consumption of healthier items within U.S. grocery retail settings, with a particular focus on those strategies that may be most effective when implemented within SNAP-authorized retail settings. Searches of nine electronic databases, as well as forward and backward searches, yielded 1942 studies. More

Date: December 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Retail

Refining the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS) for Healthy Community Stores: Adaptations to Capture Alternative Food Retailers and Align with Dietary Guidelines

Inadequate consumption of healthy food is an ongoing public health issue in the United States. Food availability measures of supply versus consumption of healthy foods are disconnected in many studies. There is a need for an objective assessment of the food environment in order to assess how the food supply aligns with the Healthy Eating More

Date: October 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Access Food Retail Healthy Communities

SNAP Purchasing Power and Food Insecurity During the Pandemic

Food price inflation is an adverse outcome of COVID-19 that makes nutrition security more difficult for low-income families with children. School closures and pandemic-related assistance programs placed additional strains on the retail food system, which may have further amplified inflationary pressure on the cost of foods needed to support a healthy diet. The goal of More

Keywords: COVID-19, Supermarket

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs Pricing & Economics

A Commentary on the Healthy Community Stores Case Study Project: Implications for Retailers, Policy, and Future Research

In the United States, low-income, underserved rural and urban settings experience poor access to healthy, affordable food. Introducing new food outlets in these locations has shown mixed results for improving healthy food consumption. The Healthy Community Stores Case Study Project (HCSCSP) explored an alternative strategy: supporting mission-driven, locally owned, healthy community food stores to improve More

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Access Food Retail Healthy Communities

Balancing Mission and Margins: What Makes Healthy Community Food Stores Successful

Mission-driven, independently-owned community food stores have been identified as a potential solution to improve access to healthy foods, yet to date there is limited information on what factors contribute to these stores’ success and failure. Using a multiple case study approach, this study examined what makes a healthy community food store successful and identified strategies More

Date: July 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Access Food Retail Healthy Communities