Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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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

Acceptability, Preference, and No-Show Rates for In-Person and Phone-Based Consultations at Nine WIC Centers in New York City Before and During COVID-19

Access to WIC benefits typically requires an in-person visit to a WIC center, however this became a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic due to recommendations for social distancing to minimize and prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, in-person requirements were removed for all visits, except first time enrollment visits, and participants were More

Date: July 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

Improving Access to Free School Meals: Addressing Intersections Between Universal Free School Meal Approaches and Educational Funding

Free and reduced price meal application data are used to allocate billions of dollars annually in education funding. However, schools serving universal free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision meal service option or USDA’s COVID-19 waivers do not typically collect school meal applications. The loss of this data has caused confusion among school administrators about More

Date: July 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: School & After School

WIC Online Ordering: Opportunities and Issues to Consider During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Click & Collect model is a three-step process for placing a WIC grocery order online, then picking it up and paying for it at the store. This model for online ordering could be an opportunity, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, to address certain challenges to WIC shopping and benefit redemption. A pilot study More

Date: June 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

Strengthening the Impact of USDA’s Child Nutrition Summer Feeding Programs During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

To address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, utilization of the USDA child nutrition summer feeding programs has drastically increased. Given the unprecedented use of the summer feeding programs, this research brief will (1) explain the meal pattern requirements and select operational differences between the summer feeding programs and the federal meal programs typically utilized More

Date: May 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

The Association of WIC App Usage and WIC Participants’ Redemption Outcomes

Some WIC state agencies are adopting WIC apps that participants can use to check their benefits, set reminders for their clinical appointments, or complete nutrition education. Although WIC apps have already been used by millions of WIC participants, the effectiveness of this significant innovation has never been systematically evaluated. It is unclear whether the participants More

Date: May 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

Schools Find Success in Reducing Sodium in Meals

Strong nutrition standards for school meals, consistent with evidence-based recommendations, position children for optimal health and wellbeing. Strong science supports the link between lowering sodium intake and better health. This new issue brief from Healthy Eating Research examines the recent history of sodium standards for school meals. It highlights current sodium intake among America’s children and School More

Date: September 2020

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight School & After School

Assessing the Implementation of Kids’ Meals Healthy Default Beverage Policies in the State of California and City of Wilmington, Del.

Healthy default beverage (HDB) policies are one policy approach to limiting kids’ sugary drink consumption and encouraging healthier beverage consumption. These policies specifically require restaurants to offer only healthier drinks (e.g., water, milk, 100% juice) instead of sugary drinks as the default options with kids’ meals, a combination of food and drink items sold as More

Date: August 2020

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Beverages Food Retail

Strengthening WIC’s Impact During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

The USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides critical nutrition assistance to lower-income women, infants, and young children. During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has risen to levels greater than experienced during the Great Recession, and food insecurity has also increased, making WIC’s role more important than ever. This research brief More

Date: July 2020

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Early Childhood Nutrition Policy & Programs

The Impact of Increasing SNAP Benefits on Stabilizing the Economy, Reducing Poverty and Food Insecurity amid COVID-19 Pandemic

With unemployment currently at a record high as a result of COVID-19, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is expected to increase significantly. Congress has already passed three COVID-19 aid bills, which include SNAP provisions such as funding for emergency benefits for SNAP households and program administrative flexibilities. This issue brief that reviews More

Date: April 2020

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Food Access Nutrition Policy & Programs