Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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Understanding Barriers and Facilitators of Universal Free School Meals in NYS

When waivers for Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) ended in 2022, approximately 726,000 students lost access to free meals in New York (NY). This study examines the impact of maintaining (or de-implementing) Universal Free School Meals in NY, especially for Black and Hispanic/Latino families who may be disproportionately impacted by pre-existing inequities. This study will More

Date: June 2023

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: School & After School

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

“It has a lot to do with the cumbersome paperwork”: Barriers and facilitators of center-based early care and education (ECE) program participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally-regulated feeding program that reimburses early care and education (ECE) programs for providing nutritious meals to low-income children. Participation in CACFP is voluntary and varies widely across states. This study assessed barriers and facilitators of center-based ECE program participation in CACFP and identified potential strategies More

Date: March 2023

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Early Childhood 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

Experiences pertaining to child nutrition and care provision among early care and education stakeholders, sponsors, and center directors during the COVID-19 pandemic: A multi-method study

This study used multiple methods (interviews, survey) to assess the experiences of stakeholders, sponsors, and center-based early care and education (ECE) program directors pertaining to child nutrition and the provision of child-care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were collected across four states. Thematic analyses of interviews and descriptive methods were used to analyze the data More

Date: December 2022

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Federal Nutrition Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic: WIC

In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized USDA to approve waivers, requested by WIC state agencies and Tribal Nations, which would ensure WIC benefit access for families already participating in the program, as well as newly eligible families. These waivers and flexibilities provided researchers a More

Date: December 2021

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

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

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

Understanding Successful Healthy Stores in Low Income Communities: A Case Study Approach

The study goals and objectives are: 1) To conduct mixed methods research to construct case studies in 7 diverse healthy food-focused retail food stores located in low-income communities throughout the United States; 2) To understand experiences of these stores in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, including strengths and vulnerabilities; and 3) To conduct a More

Date: October 2020

Resource Type: Commissioned Research Project Summary

Focus Areas: Food Retail

Assessing Drivers of Disparity in Child Care Center Participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program in 4 States with High Poverty

The study will address a gap in knowledge, providing insight into facilitators and barriers to CACFP uptake by eligible centers and actionable recommendations to address challenges in high-need areas where child poverty is exceptionally high, but resources are limited. The project goals and objectives are to: (1) Assess the historical and structural facilitators and barriers More

Date: September 2020

Resource Type: Commissioned Research Project Summary

Focus Areas: Early Childhood