Shu Wen Ng headshot

Shu Wen Ng

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.

GFRP Publications

Sweetener purchases in Chile before and after implementing a policy for food labeling, marketing, and sales in schools
Authors: Natalia Rebolledo, Maxime Bercholz, Linda Adair, Camila Corvalán, Shu Wen Ng, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: Current Developments in Nutrition, December 23, 2022 (in press, uncorrected proof)
view full text

Grocery purchase changes were associated with a north carolina COVID food assistance incentive program
Authors: Caitlin M. Lowery, Richard Henderson, Neal Curran, Sam Hoeffler, Molly DeMarco, Shu Wen Ng
Published in: Health Affairs, November 7, 2022 view full text

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

Simulation models of sugary drink policies: A scoping review
Authors: Natalie Riva Smith, Anna H. Grummon, Shu Wen Ng, Sarah Towner Wright, Leah Frerichs
Published in: PLOS ONE, October 3, 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

Did A Fruit and Vegetable Incentive Program Support low-income Households in North Carolina during the COVID-19 Pandemic? A Mixed Methods Assessment of the Healthy Helping Program and Other Pandemic-Related Food Assistance
Authors: Isabel Lu, Brett Sheppard, Shu Wen Ng, Sarah Burstein, Emile Charles, Taylor Williams
 and Molly De Marco
Published in: Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, August 7, 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

COVID-19 pandemic-era nutrition assistance: Impact and sustainability
Authors: Caitlin Caspi, Hilary Seligman, Jerica Berge, Shu Wen Ng, James Krieger
Published in: Health Affairs, May 5, 2022 view full text

Decomposing consumer and producer effects on sugar from beverage purchases after a sugar-based tax on beverages in South Africa
Authors: Maxime Bercholz, Shu Wen Ng, Nicholas Stacey, Elizabeth C. Swart
Published in: Economics & Human Biology, March 21, 2022 view full text

South Africa’s Health Promotion Levy on pricing and acquisition of beverages in local spazas and supermarkets
Authors: Alexandra Ross, Elizabeth C. Swart, Tamryn Frank, Caitlin M. Lowery, Shu Wen Ng
Published in: Public Health Nutrition, March 7, 2022 view full text

Applying and comparing various nutrient profiling models against the packaged food supply in South Africa
Authors: Tamryn Frank, Shu Wen Ng, Donna R. Miles, Elizabeth C. Swart
Published in: Public Health Nutrition, February 16, 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

Whole grain and refined grains: An examination of US household grocery store purchases
Authors: Elizabeth K. Dunford, Donna R. Miles, Barry M. Popkin, Shu Wen Ng
Published in: The Journal of Nutrition, October 28, 2021 view full text

How should we evaluate sweetened beverage tax policies? A review of worldwide experience
Authors: Shu Wen Ng, M. Arantxa Colchero, Martin White
Published in: BMC Public Health, October 26, 2021 view full text

The nutrition transition to a stage of high obesity and noncommunicable disease prevalence dominated by ultra-processed foods is not inevitable
Authors: Barry M. Popkin BMShu Wen Ng 
Published in: Obesity Reviews, October 10, 2021 view full text

Associations between select state policies and the nutritional quality of household packaged food purchases in the US from 2008-2017
Authors: Allison M. Lacko, David Guilkey, Barry M. Popkin, Shu Wen Ng
Published in: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, October 6, 2021 view full text

Linking a sugar-sweetened beverage tax with fruit and vegetable subsidies: A simulation analysis of the impact on the poor
Authors: Pourya Valizadeh, Barry M. Popkin, Shu Wen Ng
Published in: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 5, 2021 view full text

Simulating international tax designs on sugar-sweetened beverages in Mexico
Authors: Juan Carlos Salgado Hernández, Shu Wen Ng
Published in: PLOS ONE, August 19, 2021 view full text

Association of a fruit and vegetable subsidy program with food purchases by individuals with low income in the US
Authors: Seth A. Berkowitz, Neal Curran, Sam Hoeffler, Richard Henderson, Ashley Price, Shu Wen Ng
Published in: JAMA Network Open, August 11, 2021 view full text