News

You’d Be Surprised at How Many Foods Contain Added Sugar

An article in The Upshot from the New York Times featured our research showing over 60% of the foods and beverages purchased in American grocery stores contain added sugar. Some of those products are more obvious sugary foods, but not all. The list includes many sauces, soups, fruit juices and even meat products. You might think it’s […]

SSB Taxes passed in several municipalities on November 8, 2016

Results from election night show that three California cities in the Bay Area passed a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages with a majority of votes by their citizens, and Boulder, Colorado passed a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages. Our GFRP Team is collaborating with the Public Health Institute to evaluate the effects of the […]

Study by Jen Poti finds differences in household purchases of highly processed foods

A newly published study by Dr. Jen Poti found that African-American and Hispanic households purchased less of highly processed foods when compared to White households. Dr. Poti discussed the findings in a press release from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health: “Our findings indicate that purchases of highly processed foods were lower among […]

Evaluation of Mexico’s Tax on Nonessential Energy-Dense Foods shows Decline in Purchases

A new study done with collaboration between Global Food Research Program at UNC & Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health (INSP) has found that after the ‘junk food tax’ was enacted in Mexico in January 2014 household purchases of the taxed food items decreased. There was a 5.1% decrease in amount of taxed foods in […]

Ingredients: Added Sugars & Low-Calorie Sweeteners

Scientific evidence, expert groups, and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend decreasing caloric intake from added sugars. The recently announced update of the Nutrition Facts Panel from the FDA means that food labels will be required to report grams of added sugars in foods in the future. Even though 75% of packaged foods purchased in the […]

Popkin Commentary on Philly.com

A commentary by Professor Barry Popkin was published online by Philly.com (the online site for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News). Dr. Popkin explains how the tax will affect individuals across the income divide, and answers whether the tax will be effectively “regressive”: The beverage industry and the few progressives who align with it call these […]

Barry Popkin featured on Policy 360 podcast

Barry Popkin was featured on two episodes of the Policy 360 podcast with Kelly Brownell from Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy this month. Listen to Popkin & Brownell discuss the history, rationale, best options, and successes of soda taxes in Episode 13. Listen to their discussion of the Nutrition Transition over time and the […]

Is the global diet getting sweeter?

A Thought Leader interview on News Medical with Barry Popkin features information about sweeteners in processed foods, regulatory efforts and initiatives, and predictions for the future of food in our world. What do you think the future holds for the global diet? There’s two issues here. The current future, the way the global diet’s going […]

Study finds Mexico’s sugar-sweetened beverage tax reduced purchases of sugary drinks

The first comprehensive peer reviewed study to examine the immediate effects of Mexico’s new tax on sugar sweetened beverages was published in The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) in January 2016. The full study is available online. Researchers from the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of […]

NYTimes quotes Dr. Popkin in ‘Americans Are Finally Eating Less’

UNCFRP research and comments by Dr. Barry Popkin are featured in the New York Times story by Margot Sanger-Katz, Americans Are Finally Eating Less, published July 24, 2015. The article discusses the gradual decline of calories eaten by Americans over the past several years: There is no perfect way to measure American calorie consumption. But three […]

Purchases of taxed beverages decline in Mexico after excise tax takes effect

The UNC Food Research Program and the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública have estimated changes in household purchases of beverages over the complete year of 2014, since the one peso per liter excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages took effect (January 1, 2014).The tax of approximately 10 percent applies to nondairy and non-alcoholic beverages with added […]

Study: preschoolers’ calorie intake down in last decade

A new study by Christopher Ford, doctoral candidate in nutrition epidemiology at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and research assistant with the UNCFRP evaluated beverage trends of U.S. preschool children over a 10 year period between 2003-2012. The study noted that among U.S. preschoolers, total caloric intake fell by 132 calories per day, with […]

Study: Consumer Purchases of Cakes, Cookies and Pies Have Decreased by 24 Percent

A new study published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, by recent UNC graduate (and UNCFRP alum) Dr. Kevin C. Mathias, finds that consumer purchases of cakes, cookies, pies, and other ready-to-eat grain-based desserts decreased by 24% from 2005-2010. Dr. Mathias investigated this group of foods (ready-to-eat grain-based desserts) because they […]

Study: Daily tasks can get sedentary workers closer to national physical activity guidelines

A new study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, titled No time for the gym? Housework and other non-labor market time use patterns are associated with meeting physical activity recommendations among adults in full-time, sedentary jobs, with lead author Lindsey Smith, found that people with sedentary (or deskbound) jobs can still meet national […]

NPR: Sayonara To ‘Super-Size Me?’ Food Companies Cut Calories, So Do We

NPR’s Alison Aubrey, with a story discussing our research published last week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and the impact on individuals and food and beverage companies: [Listen to the story here] It just might be the dawn of a new era in American eating. Two-thirds of us are now more likely to go […]

UNC Study Shows Food and Beverage Companies Exceed Caloric Cut Pledge

Release from UNC Gillings School of Public Health – September 17, 2014 (CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) 16 of the world’s largest food and beverage producing companies pledged to help reduce obesity of American families with children two to 18 years old by pledging to eliminate 1 trillion calories from the products these companies sold in the […]