Lindsey Smith Taillie headshot

Lindsey Smith Taillie

Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Lindsey Smith Taillie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Lindsey is a nutrition epidemiologist whose work focuses on evaluating food policy efforts in the US and globally, and how these influence disparities in diet and obesity. Current projects focus on evaluating sugary beverage taxes, front-of-package warning labels, and marketing restrictions in a number of Latin American countries, including Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru. She has also conducted a number of studies on the nutrition transition in China, including fieldwork on diet behaviors and diet assessment technology.

In the US, her research focuses on changes in marketing and labeling of unhealthy foods and beverages, their association with the nutritional profile of food purchases and disparities in food purchases, and whether marketing and labeling policies can help consumers make healthier choices, especially in vulnerable populations such as Latino and low-income parents. She also conducts nutrition epidemiology studies on food behaviors, diet intake, and obesity using large population-level datasets such as the National Health and Nutrition Survey and American Time Use Study.

Currently, Dr. Taillie is leading a RWJF-funded project to examine “nudges” to promote healthier online food purchases, such as swaps and product placement. Along with colleagues in Health Behavior, she is also leading additional studies to develop and test the impact of pictorial warning labels and taxes on sugary beverage purchases and intake among Latino parents in North Carolina. Dr. Taillie is also leading a new Wellcome Trust-funded project to examine the impact of policies to reduce red and processed meat intake as a strategy to prevent climate change and reduce non-communicable disease.

As part of these projects, Dr. Taillie has developed two experimental grocery stores. First, the UNC Mini-Mart, located at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, is designed to provide a real food store experience where people can buy and take home food and drinks for their families. The goal of the Mini-Mart is to be able to design and test which types of food retail policies and interventions will encourage parents to make healthier choices. Second, Dr. Taillie and colleagues from NYU and the University of Edinburgh developed an online experimental supermarket called “Lola’s Grocery,” designed to resemble one of the largest online grocery stores in the USA and includes more than 13,000 food and beverage products. Lola’s Grocery gives researchers the ability to quickly modify conditions (i.e., look at many policies) and recruit large, representative sample sizes. Dr. Taillie and colleagues are currently designing a validation study to compare Lola’s to real online store purchases and adapting Lola’s for use in Brazil, with the plan to launch an RCT in early 2022 to test the impact of Brazil’s proposed warning label on food purchases.

My “go to” comfort food is a buttery, perfectly browned grilled cheese sandwich.

My family’s holiday favorite is homemade pumpkin cinnamon rolls. They take all day to make but are so worth it. We also love stuffed baked French toast…clearly sweet, bread-y breakfast foods are a favorite!

My favorite food for fall is I love orange foods in the fall: stuffed sweet potatoes, butternut squash soup, pumpkin “pie” smoothies, apple cider…and, much to my own chagrin, I also love candy corn. I don’t want to like them, but I do!

My favorite condiment or topping is Marie Sharp’s hot sauce, by the gallon.

GFRP Publications

Did the sweetness of beverages change with the Chilean Food Labeling and Marketing Law? A before and after study
Authors: Natalia Rebolledo, Maxime Bercholz, Camila Corvalán, Shu Wen Ng, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: Frontiers in Nutrition, October 28, 2022 view full text

Are intentions to change, policy awareness, or health knowledge related to changes in dietary intake following a sugar-sweetened beverage tax in South Africa? A before-and-after study
Authors: Michael Essman, Catherine Zimmer, Francesca Dillman Carpentier, Elizabeth C. Swart, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, October 28, 2022

Effect of different front-of-package food labels on identification of unhealthy products and intention to purchase the products – A randomised controlled trial in South Africa
Authors: Makoma Bopape, Jeroen De Man, Lindsey Smith Taillie, Shu Wen Ng, Nandita Murukutla, Rina Swart
Published in: Appetite, August 24, 2022 (online ahead of print) view full text

Prevalence and demographic correlates of online grocery shopping: results from a nationally representative survey during the COVID-19 pandemic
Authors: Emily W. Duffy, Amy Lo, Marissa G. Hall, Lindsey Smith Taillie, Shu Wen Ng
Published in: Public Health Nutrition, August 19, 2022 view full text

Perceived effect of warning label on parental food purchasing and drivers of food selection among South African parents — An exploratory study
Authors: Makoma Bopape, Lindsey Smith Taillie, Rina Swart
Published in: Frontiers in Public Health, August 5, 2022 view full text

"I think that's the most beneficial change that the WIC has made in a really long time": Perceptions and awareness of an increase in the WIC Cash Value Benefit
Authors: Emily W. Duffy, Daniele A. Vest, Cassandra R. Davis, Marissa G. Hall, Molly De Marco, Shu Wen Ng, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, July 16, 2022 view full text

Do sugar warning labels influence parents' selection of a labeled snack for their children? A randomized trial in a virtual convenience store
Authors: Lindsey Smith Taillie, Isabella C. A. Higgins, Allison J. Lazard, Donna R. Miles, Jonathan L. Blitstein, Marissa G. Hall
Published in: Appetite, May 5, 2022 (online ahead of print) view full text

Why don’t you [government] help us make healthier foods more affordable instead of bombarding us with labels? Maternal knowledge, perceptions, and practices after full implementation of the Chilean food labelling law
Authors: Teresa Correa, Camila Fierro, Marcela Reyes, Lindsey Smith Taillie, Francesca Renee Dillman Carpentier, Camila Corvalán
Published in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, April 9, 2022 view full text

Perceived message effectiveness of the meatless Monday campaign: An experiment with US adults
Authors: Hannah-Therese Rayala, Natalia Rebolledo, Marissa G. Hall, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: American Journal of Public Health, March 24, 2022 view full text

How Americans eat red and processed meat: An analysis of the contribution of 13 different food groups
Authors: Sarah M. Frank, Lindsey Smith Taillie, Lindsay M. Jaacks
Published in: Public Health Nutrition, February 21, 2022 view full text

Impact of nutrient warning labels on choice of ultra-processed food and drinks high in sugar, sodium, and saturated fat in Colombia: A randomized controlled trial
Authors: Mercedes Mora-Plazas, Isabella Carolyn Aida Higgins, Luis Fernando Gomez, Marissa Hall, Maria Fernanda Parra, Maxime Bercholz, Nandita Murukutla, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: PLOS ONE, February 11, 2022 view full text

The impact of pictorial health warnings on purchases of sugary drinks for children: A randomized controlled trial
Authors: Marissa G. Hall, Anna H. Grummon, Isabella C. A. Higgins, Allison J. Lazard, Carmen E. Prestemon, Mirian I. Avendaño-Galdamez, Lindsey Smith Taillie 
Published in: PLOS Medicine, February 1, 2022 view full text

Changes in nonnutritive sweetener intake in a cohort of preschoolers after the implementation of Chile's Law of Food Labelling and Advertising
Authors: Natalia Rebolledo, Marcela Reyes, Barry M. Popkin, Linda Adair, Christy L. Avery, Camila Corvalán, Shu Wen Ng, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: Pediatric Obesity, January 27, 2022 view full text

Nutrition-related claims lead parents to choose less healthy drinks for young children: a randomized trial in a virtual convenience store
Authors: Marissa G. Hall, Allison J. Lazard, Isabella C. A. Higgins, Jonathan L Blitstein, Emily W. Duffy, Eva Greenthal, Sarah Sorscher, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 18, 2022 view full text

Front-of-package claims & imagery on fruit-flavored drinks and exposure by household demographics
Authors: Aviva A. Musicus, Sophia V. Hua, Alyssa J. Moran, Emily W. Duffy, Marissa G. Hall, Christina A. Roberto, Francesca R. Dillman Carpentier, Sarah Sorscher, Margo G. Wootan, Lindsey Smith Taillie, Eric B. Rimm
Published in: Appetite, December 27, 2021 (e-pub ahead of print) view full text

Prevalence of low-calorie sweeteners and related front-of-package claims in the Brazilian packaged food supply
Authors: Mariana Fagundes Grilo, Lindsey Smith Taillie, Camila Zancheta Ricardo, Laís Amaral Mais, Ana Paula Bortoletto Martins, Ana Clara Duran
Published in: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, December 22, 2021

Examining the news media reaction to a national sugary beverage tax in South Africa: A quantitative content analysis
Authors: Michael Essman, Fernanda Mediano Stoltze, Francesca Dillman Carpentier, Elizabeth C. Swart, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: BMC Public Health, December 2021 view full text

Claims on ready-to-eat cereals: Are those with claims healthier?
Authors: María Parra-Murillo, Caitlin M. Lowery, Luis F. Gómez, Mercedes Mora-Plazas, Lindsey Smith Taillie, and Francesca R. Dillman Carpentier
Published in: Frontiers in Nutrition | Nutrition Epidemiology, November 26, 2021 view full text

Changes in the use of nonnutritive sweeteners in the Chilean food and beverage supply after the implementation of the Food Labeling and Advertising Law
Authors: Ricardo C. Zancheta, Camila Corvalán, Lindsey Smith Taillie, Vilma Quitral, Marcela Reyes
Published in: Frontiers in Nutrition | Nutrition and Food Science Technology, November 8, 2021 view full text

South African consumers' perceptions of front-of-package warning labels on unhealthy foods and drinks
Authors: Makoma Bopape, Lindsey Smith Taillie, Tamryn Frank, Nandita Murukutla, Trish Cotter, Luyanda Majija, Rina Swart
Published in: PLOS ONE, September 27, 2021 view full text