Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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Assessing the Public Health Impacts of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative

The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) is a voluntary industry initiative in which companies commit to featuring only foods meeting specific nutrition criteria in advertising directed primarily to children under age 12. New criteria that were announced in 2018 and went into effect in 2020 strengthened the nutrition standards and changed the criteria More

Date: October 2021

Resource Type: Report

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Food Marketing

Strategies to Improve School Meal Consumption: A Systematic Review

This systematic review evaluates studies examining initiatives, interventions, and policies to increase school meal consumption. Following PRISMA guidelines, this review was conducted using four databases and resulted in a total of 96 studies. The research evidence supports the following strategies to increase school meal consumption: (1) offering students more menu choices; (2) adapting recipes to More

Date: October 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: School & After School

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

Prevalence of Evidence-Based School Meal Practices and Associations with Reported Food Waste across a National Sample of U.S. Elementary Schools

Providing meals at school is an important part of the hunger safety net for children in the United States and worldwide; however, many children do not receive school meals even when they qualify for federally-subsidized free or reduced-priced meals. This study investigates the prevalence of several evidence-based practices that have previously been shown to increase More

Date: August 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

Feeding Children and Maintaining Food Service Operations during COVID-19: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Implementation and Financial Challenges

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs are critical for the health and food security of U.S. schoolchildren, but access to these programs was disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic-related school closures in spring 2020. While temporary policy changes to the programs enabled school food authorities (SFAs) to pivot towards distributing More

Date: August 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

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

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

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

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

Messages Promoting Healthy Kids’ Meals: An Online RCT

Calorie labeling is now required on all large U.S. chain restaurant menus, but its influence on consumer behavior is mixed. This study examines whether different parent-targeted messages encourage parents to order lower-calorie meals for their children in a hypothetical online setting. An online RCT was conducted with primary caregivers of children aged 6–12 years. Participants More

Date: May 2021

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Retail