Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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A click too far from fresh foods: A mixed methods comparison of online and in-store grocery behaviors among low-income households

A recent policy in the U.S. authorized monthly benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to be used online to increase grocery access and promote healthy eating. This study examined online grocery attitudes and purchasing behaviors among low-income SNAP-eligible households with young children with and without online grocery experience. An explanatory sequential mixed methods More

Date: April 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Retail Nutrition Policy & Programs

A Systematic Scoping Review of the Literacy Literature to Develop a Digital Food and Nutrition Literacy Model for Low-income Adults to Make Healthy Choices in the Online Food Retail Ecosystem to Reduce Obesity Risk

Adults with lower incomes are disproportionately affected by poverty, food insecurity, obesity, and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In 2020–2021 amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot program to enable eligible participants to purchase groceries online in 47 states. More

Date: January 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

An Equity-oriented Systematic Review of Online Grocery Shopping Among Low-income Populations: Implications for Policy and Research

Online grocery services are an emerging component of the food system with the potential to address disparities in access to healthy food. We assessed the barriers and facilitators of equitable access to healthy foods in the online grocery environment, and the psychosocial, purchasing, and dietary behaviors related to its use among low-income, diverse populations. Four More

Date: January 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Retail

Federal Nutrition Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic: SNAP

The COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges and exacerbated existing barriers faced by SNAP participants and administrators, such as inequitable access to SNAP online purchasing, overburdened administrative staff and agency systems, and low digital literacy and technology deficits. In response, SNAP online purchasing increased rapidly by March 2021, and program flexibilities and waivers allowed states to More

Date: January 2022

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

Content Analysis of Online Grocery Retail Policies and Practices Affecting Healthy Food Access

This study aimed to describe policies and practices of online grocery retailers that may affect healthy food access, including retailers participating in the US Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Online Purchasing Pilot. It used a cross-sectional, quantitative content analysis of 21 online grocery retail websites from November 2019 to January 2020. Most retailers More

Date: December 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Retail Nutrition Policy & Programs

Applying a Multi-Dimensional Digital Food and Nutrition Literacy Model to Inform Research and Policies to Enable Adults in the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to Make Healthy Purchases in the Online Food Retail Ecosystem

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-administered Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) made substantial changes in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These changes highlight the need to identify the digital literacy skills and capacities of SNAP adults to purchase healthy groceries online. We conducted a scoping review of four electronic databases, Google More

Date: August 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

Promoting Equitable Expansion of the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot

The USDA Online Purchasing Pilot, which allows SNAP participants to shop and pay for groceries online, rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. From March 2020 to March 2021, the number of participating states increased from 5 to 47. This brief assesses whether the Pilot promotes healthy food access (using the criteria of availability and utilization) More

Date: July 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Food Access Nutrition Policy & Programs

Strengthening the Public Health Impacts of SNAP: Key Opportunities for the Next Farm Bill

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest United States Department of Agriculture federal nutrition assistance program. As an entitlement program, SNAP is designed to expand as incomes fall, enabling the program to respond quickly when need increases. For example, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, SNAP served an average of 37 million income-eligible Americans More

Date: July 2021

Resource Type: Report

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

SNAP Waivers and Adaptations During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Survey of State Agency Perspectives in 2020

This research seeks to understand perspectives from state SNAP administrators on the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from waivers and flexibilities used to preserve equitable access to SNAP during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on state agency survey responses, this report summarizes key findings from the first calendar year of pandemic response and provides policy considerations More

Date: June 2021

Resource Type: Report

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

A Multi-Dimensional Digital Food and Nutrition Literacy Model to Enable SNAP Adults to Make Health Purchases in an Online Food Retail Ecosystem: A Scoping Review to Inform U.S. Policies

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic disrupted the food supply, distribution and services and led to major changes in the federal government’s safety-net programs. This paper synthesizes evidence for the literacy needs of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible adults who receive benefits from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to purchase groceries in an online More

Date: May 2021

Resource Type: Research Review

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs