Price tag messaging can amplify the benefit of taxes

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have found that combining taxes on sugary drinks with added messaging on price tags further discourages parents from wanting to buy sugary drinks for their children.  Currently, over 60 countries and smaller jurisdictions around the world have levied taxes on sugary drinks in an effort to curb their consumption, yet these beverages […]

Ultra-processed foods: a global threat to public health

We are pleased to share a major update to our fact sheet on ultra-processed foods. This resource explains what ultra-processed foods are, how consumption around the world has increased dramatically, the negative impacts their consumption can have on health and the environment, and policy approaches to curb their dominance in the food system. This fact […]

Randomized control trial shows promise for policies to reduce red meat purchases

Findings from a new study in PLOS Medicine conducted by researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill, Stanford University, and the University of Edinburgh indicate that warning label and tax policies effectively reduce purchases of red meat-containing items, such as burger patties, pepperoni pizza, and ham luncheon meat. Consumption of red meat has gained attention as a nutrition […]

Response to WHO guidelines on policies to protect children from the harmful impact of food marketing

In a new perspective piece in PLOS Medicine, Global Food Research Program researchers Barry Popkin and Francesca Dillman Carpentier and alum Fernanda Mediano Stoltze reflect on the recently released World Health Organization (WHO) guideline, “Policies to protect children from the harmful impact of food marketing.” The authors highlight several strengths of the updated guidelines, which […]

Most South African breakfast cereal packages feature child-directed marketing

The majority of breakfast cereals in South Africa feature child-directed marketing strategies on their packaging, according to a new study in Public Health Nutrition. In an analysis of over 200 breakfast cereals, researchers also found that breakfast cereals with child-directed marketing contained significantly more total sugar and less fiber than cereals without child-directed marketing. South […]

Products changed, but not prices, under Chile’s Law of Food Labeling and Advertising

Despite extensive product reformulation after Chile began requiring warning labels on the front of less-healthy food and drink packages, Chilean consumers saw no significant change in food and beverage prices associated with the policy in the first year and a half. This was the main finding of a new study from researchers at Universidad Adolfo […]

Children in Chile saw 73% fewer TV ads for unhealthy foods and drinks following trailblazing marketing restrictions

Chilean policies aimed at reining in unhealthy food marketing are succeeding in protecting children from the onslaught of television advertisements (TV ads) for these products, according to new research. The country’s multi-phased regulations, which began in 2016, have led to a 73% drop in children’s exposure to TV ads for regulated foods and drinks (those […]

Beverage industry ad spend and airtimes in South Africa

A new study published in the Journal of Public Health Research has found that in South Africa, sugar-sweetened beverage manufacturers spent USD 191 million (ZAR 3.7 billion) advertising SSBs across different media from 2013 to 2019. The bulk of this was spent on television (TV) advertising, particularly during children’s and family viewing times. Researchers from […]

After Chile’s labeling and marketing law, drink purchases contained less sugar and more non-nutritive sweeteners, but overall sweetness stayed the same

Two recent studies conducted by researchers from the Global Food Research Program at UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Chile have found that in the first phase of Chile’s Law of Food Labeling and Advertising, consumers’ beverage purchases contained less sugar and more non-nutritive sweeteners (e.g., Aspartame, Stevia, or Sucralose), but overall beverage sweetness stayed […]

Peru’s healthy food and beverage policies found to have no negative impact on industry jobs, wages

A new study published this month in the journal Food Policy finds that Peru’s food and beverage industry experienced no significant job or wage losses after the country began taxing sugary drinks and putting warning labels on the front of unhealthy food and beverage packages prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Peruvian government implemented these […]

More evidence that pandemic-era Healthy Helping program improved diet quality for North Carolinians with food insecurity

A new study published today in the November issue of Health Affairs underscores the positive impact of the Healthy Helping produce prescription program that provided North Carolinians facing food insecurity with $40 a month to spend on fruits and vegetables during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and […]

Popkin delivers keynote addresses to the German Obesity Society, NICHD Global Health Conference

On Thursday, Oct. 6, Barry Popkin, PhD, W. R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, delivered a keynote address at the 38th Annual Meeting of the German Obesity Society. In his talk entitled Large-scale regulatory and fiscal policies for tackling obesity and creating healthier diets,he spoke […]

Popkin urges FDA to adopt front-of-package warning labels

On Thursday, Sept. 29, Dr. Barry Popkin testified at a special U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) public meeting in support of policies to improve the American diet and diet-related diseases. He joined six other consumer, research, government, and industry representatives who were invited to comment before an Independent Expert Panel as part of an […]

Nutrient warning labels work in South Africa: Results from a randomized controlled trial

A new study from South Africa comparing three different front-of-package (FOP) labeling schemes found that a nutrient warning label helped more participants correctly identify unhealthy products and more strongly reduced their intention to purchase those products, compared to a “multiple traffic light” label and a Guideline Daily Amounts label. These findings, published in Appetite, come […]

Healthy Helping program made fruits and vegetables affordable for North Carolinians during the COVID-19 pandemic 

Low-income North Carolinians who received a monthly fruit and vegetable benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic enjoyed the flexibility to choose more and a greater variety of nutritious foods during a time of profound food insecurity, according to a new study in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. Researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill interviewed participants in […]

GFRP submission to the 2022 WHO Consultation on policy guidelines to protect children from the harmful impact of food marketing

The Global Food Research Program recently contributed comments to the World Health Organization (WHO) draft guideline on policies to protect children from the harmful impact of food marketing. Children worldwide are exposed every day to food marketing where they live, learn, and play — on TV, in and around their schools, at sporting events, in […]

Increased WIC cash vouchers for fruits & vegetables have helped families eat healthier during COVID-19

Many U.S. families faced new or additional challenges to finding and paying for food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these are over 6 million women and young children who participate in the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which provides nutrition education, supplemental foods, breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals […]

Changes to nutrition assistance programs during COVID-19: Impacts and implications for future policy

A new health policy brief from Health Affairs, titled “COVID-19 Pandemic-Era Nutrition Assistance: Impact And Sustainability,” joins Health Affairs’ ongoing series of policy briefs on the social determinants of health. Its authors, including Global Food Research Program faculty Shu Wen Ng write that COVID-19 became “a stress test” for the ability of the United States to feed those in […]

Nutrition claims on sugary fruit drinks can lead to less healthy choices for children, new study finds

Parents are more likely to choose a fruit drink with added sugar for their young child when the drink’s packaging includes nutrition-related claims, researchers with the Global Food Research Program found in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This study is among the first to look at how claims influence parents’ […]

Nutrient warnings outperform other labels among Colombian adults: Results from a randomized controlled trial

A study published today in PLOS ONE found that for Colombian adults, nutrient warning labels work better than two other common front-of-package (FOP) label types for discouraging consumption of ultra-processed foods. The experiment Researchers at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, and UNC-Chapel Hill conducted a study involving over 8,000 Colombian adults. In this experiment, each participant […]