Shu Wen Ng

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

Shu Wen Ng is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Trained as a health economist, she is interested in studying the role of dietary change and shifts in physical activity patterns in weight gain among those experiencing rapid economic and social change. Her work involves investigated the design and use of food pricing policies and food assistance programs to encourage healthier food offerings, purchases and dietary consumption while narrowing disparities and inequities. On the Global Food Research Program, Shu Wen leads studies that use commercial food purchase, food sales data and Nutrition Facts Panel data, as well as publicly available household income-expenditure, price and census data. Shu Wen has extensive modeling experience with multi-level and instrumental variable models, survival analysis/ hazard modeling, propensity scoring, time-series and dynamic panel estimation analyses. She teaches National Nutrition Policy.

When I’m in a time crunch, I love to make avocado soup! Puree 3-4 ripe avocados with ~1 cup skim milk (adjust based on preference), dash of cayenne & black pepper, hint of salt, and juice of ½ a lime. Top with cooked shrimp and/or cilantro for garnish, and voila! Best if made a few hours ahead, chilled and served cold (great on a hot summer day!)

The craziest thing I’ve ever eaten is fried tarantula (in Cambodia)

After a good workout, nothing beats a glass of cold chocolate almond milk.


Popkin BMNg SWThe nutrition transition to a stage of high obesity and noncommunicable disease prevalence dominated by ultra-processed foods is not inevitableObesity Reviews.  2021; 1- 18. doi: 10.1111/obr.13366 view full text

Salgado Hernández JC, Ng SW. Simulating international tax designs on sugar-sweetened beverages in Mexico. PLOS ONE. 2021 Aug 19;16(8):e0253748. view full text

Berkowitz SA, Curran N, Hoeffler S, Henderson R, Price A, Ng SW. Association of a Fruit and Vegetable Subsidy Program With Food Purchases by Individuals With Low Income in the USJAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(8):e2120377. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.20377 view full text

Roberto CA, Ng SW, Ganderats-Fuentes M, Hammond D, Barquera S, Jauregui A, Taillie LS. The Influence of Front-of-Package Nutrition Labeling on Consumer Behavior and Product Reformulation. Annual Review of Nutrition. 2021 Aug 2;41. (Review in Advance first posted online on August 2, 2021. Changes may still occur before final publication in September 2021.)  view full text

Frank T, Thow AM, Ng SW, Ostrowski J, Bopape M, Swart EC. A Fit-for-Purpose Nutrient Profiling Model to Underpin Food and Nutrition Policies in South Africa. Nutrients. 2021 Aug;13(8):2584. view full text

Sobers NP, Bishop L, Ng SW, Soares-Wynter S, Greaves NS, Murphy MM. Understanding the need for a whole-of-society approach in school nutrition policy implementation: A qualitative analysis. Implementation Science Communications. 2021 Dec;2(1):1-2. view full text

Dunford EK, Popkin B, Ng SW. Junk Food Intake Among Adults in the United States. The Journal of Nutrition. 2021 Jul 5. view full text

Duffy E, Ng SW, Hall M, Bercholz M, Rebolledo N, Musicus A, Taillie LS. Examining Sociodemographic Disparities in Household Purchases of Fruit Drinks with Policy-Relevant Nutrition Claims. Current Developments in Nutrition. 2021 Jun;5(Supplement_2):551-. view full text

Lo A, Duffy E, Ng SW. Who's Grocery Shopping Online and Why: Cross-Sectional Analysis of a Nationally-Representative Sample Since the Pandemic. Current Developments in Nutrition. 2021 Jun;5(Supplement_2):231-. view full text

Hofman KJ, Stacey N, Swart EC, Popkin BMNg SWSouth Africa's Health Promotion Levy: Excise tax findings and equity potentialObesity Reviews. 2021; 1– 7. view full text

Essman M, Taillie LS, Jenkings T, Ng SW, Popkin BM, Swart EC. 2021. Taxed and untaxed beverage consumption by young adults in Langa, South Africa before and one year after a national sugar-sweetened beverage taxPLOS Medicine. view full text

Lacko A, Delamater P, Gordon-Larsen P, Ng SW. Geographic patterns and socioeconomic differences in the nutritional quality of household packaged food purchases in the United States. Health & Place. 2021 May 1;69:102567. view full text

Popkin BM, Barquera S, Corvalan C, Hofman KJ, Monteiro C, Ng SW, Swart EC, Taillie LS. Towards unified and impactful policies to reduce ultra-processed food consumption and promote healthier eating. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 2021 Apr 15. view full text

Stacey N, Edoka I, Hofman K, Swart EC, Popkin B, Ng SW. Changes in beverage purchases following the announcement and implementation of South Africa's Health Promotion Levy: An observational study. The Lancet Planetary Health. 2021 Apr 1;5(4):e200-8. view full text

Krieger J, Bleich SN, Scarmo S, Ng SW. Sugar-sweetened beverage reduction policies: Progress and promise. Annual Review of Public Health. 2021 Apr 1;42:439-61. view full text

Valizadeh P, Ng SW. Would A National Sugar‐Sweetened Beverage Tax in the United States Be Well Targeted? American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 2021 May;103(3):961-86. view full text

Lacko A, Ng SW, Popkin B. Urban vs. Rural Socioeconomic Differences in the Nutritional Quality of Household Packaged Food Purchases by Store Type. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Oct 20;17(20):7637. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17207637. view full text

Dunford EK, Miles DR, Ng SW, Popkin BTypes and Amounts of Nonnutritive Sweeteners Purchased by US Households: A Comparison of 2002 and 2018 Nielsen Homescan Purchases. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2020 Oct 1;120(10):1662-71. view full text

Bleich SN, Chriqui J, Ng SWImplementation Science Is Important for Understanding and Advancing Beverage Taxes. Am J Public Health. 2020 Sep;110(9):1266-1267. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2020.305840. view full text

Valizadeh P, Popkin BM, Ng SWDistributional Changes in U.S. Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Purchases, 2002-2014. Am J Prev Med. 2020 Aug 1;59(2):260-9. view full text