News

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 […]

Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity: Application opens for 2023 fellowships

UNC-Chapel Hill is accepting applications for the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity (CPPFD). The program aims to develop and support scholars from different backgrounds, with potential advancement to tenure-track faculty appointments at UNC or other research universities. Research appointments start July 1, 2023 and last two years. During that time, scholars will engage in full-time […]

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 […]

Meet the 2022 FERN fellows

Last week marked the end of the GFRP’s inaugural Fellowship for Exploring Research in Nutrition (FERN), a 10-week summer research internship for undergraduate students interested in food policy research. In spring, we welcomed outstanding students Emerald Izuakor from UNC-Chapel Hill, Tiffany Williams from NC State University, and Sydni Wright from UNC Charlotte. Over the course […]

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 […]

Health, environmental messages boost Meatless Monday campaign

Messages that emphasize the health and environmental benefits of participating in Meatless Monday are an effective way to encourage people to eat less meat, according to new findings from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Meatless Monday, launched by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2003, is a campaign that […]

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’ […]

Americans consume red meat from a variety of foods, creating opportunities to introduce meat-free substitutions

The typical American diet is high in red and processed meat, contributing to health risks and raising concerns for environmental sustainability. A study published this week in Public Health Nutrition used data from national diet surveys to look at which specific types of foods make up the bulk of U.S. red and processed meat intake […]

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 […]

Picture this: Pictorial health warnings discourage parents from buying sugary drinks for kids

A study published this week in PLOS Medicine is the first to examine in a realistic store setting whether pictorial health warnings on sugary drinks have an impact on which beverages parents choose to buy for their children. For this randomized trial, parents of children ages 2–12 years were given a shopping task in the UNC Mini Mart — a […]

GFRP announces paid summer fellowship for BIPOC students

As part of ongoing efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the research community, the Global Food Research Program has announced a 12-week paid summer fellowship for BIPOC students interested in food policy and nutrition research. The Fellowship for Exploring Research in Nutrition (FERN) is open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors from any major, at […]

Ng and colleagues awarded grant to explore cost savings from produce prescription programs

The Duke Endowment has awarded a $765,000 grant to Dr. Shu Wen Ng and colleagues Dr. Thomas Keyserling (UNC School of Medicine), Dr. Ashley Price (Duke University Department of Family Medicine and Community Health), and Neal Curran and Sam Hoeffler (Reinvestment Partners) to expand their research on the benefits of the food prescription programs. Administered […]

Using Chile’s warning label criteria to tax foods and drinks: Potential effects on prices, purchases, and revenues

In a new study published in PLOS ONE, Drs. Arantxa Colchero, Guillermo Paraje, and Barry Popkin explore the possible impacts of a Chilean tax levied on products that currently carry warning labels and other regulation under the Law of Food Labeling and Advertising. The country has had a sugary drink tax in place since 2014, […]

Lessons learned from evaluations of sweetened beverage tax policies

To date, over 50 countries and smaller jurisdictions around the world have enacted taxes on sugary drinks to improve population health. These taxes aim to reduce consumers’ sugary drink intake and encourage companies to offer healthier product options. They can also raise revenue to support other health promotion efforts. This policy approach has gained much momentum over […]

Ultra-processed diets and epidemics of obesity and noncommunicable diseases are still avoidable for some countries: Policy options for a different Nutrition Transition

Dr. Barry Popkin and Dr. Shu Wen Ng believe that, with the right policy actions, many low- and middle-income countries can still avoid reaching the high levels of ultra-processed food intake and nutrition-related diseases currently faced by many countries around the world. In a recent article in Obesity Reviews, Popkin and Ng outline why countries should commit now to policies that can […]