Policy Research

Fiscal Policies

A large body of evidence indicates that fiscal policies such as taxes on sugary drinks or junk foods work to reduce purchases and intake of unhealthy products and to increase purchases and intake of healthier alternatives. Over 50 countries and smaller jurisdictions have instituted taxes like these aimed at improving public health and reducing the burden of chronic diseases including obesity.

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Food & Nutrition Assistance

US programs such as SNAP and WIC provide benefits to supplement the food budget of families in need. We research the effects of various changes or additions to program benefits — either proposed or implemented — and their impact on nutritional outcomes and health disparities.

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Food System Surveillance

Our team created a unique “factory-to-fork” system to monitor the food supply for product reformulation and introduction or cessation of sales of millions of barcoded products. We study changes in nutrient content of available products and in what households choose to purchase.

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Labelling Regulations

Simple, mandatory front-of-package warning labels help consumers quickly and easily identify unhealthy foods and drinks and make healthier choices from the vast array of products available. Studies show that requiring FOP warning labels on unhealthy products can contribute to reduced purchases of junk foods and concerning nutrients and ingredients.

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Marketing Regulations

Protecting children from pervasive, persuasive marketing for junk foods and sugary drinks is a crucial step in preventing childhood obesity. To reduce children’s exposure and limit the appeal and persuasive power of such marketing for kids, policies can can restrict when, where, and how companies may promote unhealthy products.

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School Food Environments

Schools should provide a healthy environment for kids’ minds and bodies. Policies that keep schools free of promotion or sales of unhealthy foods and drinks and emphasize the nutritional standards that schoolchildren need to grow, develop, and succeed can lead to healthier food choices for kids at school and beyond.

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