Nutrition policies govern many aspects of the food system impacting food choices and prices in outlets such as grocery stores, restaurants, and schools, thus affecting what we eat. Federal nutrition assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the national school meal programs provide services to children and families with the goal to increase food security and reduce hunger. Research in this area includes evaluating the impacts of nutrition programs and policies on diet quality and overall health, as well as exploring innovative approaches to improve program reach, participation and implementation.

Research & Publications See all

October 2021

Evidence-Based Recommendations and Best Practices for Promoting Healthy Eating Behaviors in Children 2 to 8 Years

Dietary recommendations are available about what to feed children ages 2 to 8 for optimal health, but relatively little guidance exists about how to feed those children. Because of the discrepancy between young children’s recommended and actual dietary intakes, there is a clear need for such guidance. To address this gap, Healthy Eating Research convened More

October 2021

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

October 2021

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

August 2021

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