The GFRP team collectively or individually has been involved in research spanning regions and countries at all income levels and including studies on diet, physical activity, overweight/obesity, and broader food system-related issues. Policy work includes the World Bank obesity strategy coauthored by Barry Popkin and Meera Shekar (Obesity : Health and Economic Consequences of an Impending Global Challenge), regional studies on food systems and obesity by Popkin and Tom Reardon and others (e.g., in Latin America and Africa), background documents for initiatives on physical activity, and Bellagio meetings.
Reviews include a narrative review of governmental regulations to restrict unhealthy food marketing to children, and a scoping review on front-of-package warning labels.
Taxes on unhealthy foods and beverages
Global maps showing countries and smaller jurisdictions with taxes on sugary or sweetened beverages and/or unhealthy foods, that were implemented with a goal of curbing sugar, salt, saturated or trans fat, and excessive calorie consumption and improving public health. Included are brief descriptions of each tax structure and dates of passage or implementation.
Comments for WHO consultation on the draft fiscal policy guidelines
The Global Food Research Program submission to World Health Organization's public consultation on draft guidelines on fiscal policies to promote healthy diets
Comments for WHO consultation on draft marketing policy guidelines
The Global Food Research Program's submission to the consultation on the World Health Organization's draft guidelines on policies to protect children from the harmful impact of food marketing
Series of maps showing interpretive labels used on food and beverage packages around around the world. These maps feature national-level, mandatory front-of-package labeling policies as well as government-endorsed voluntary labels. This resource includes a map highlighting countries with front-of-package warning label policies.
Restrictions on marketing food to children
Global map showing countries with national-level, mandatory policies aimed at protecting children from harmful marketing for unhealthy foods or beverages by limiting children’s exposure to marketing and/or by limiting the persuasive power of food marketing via restrictions on the use of certain creative marketing techniques. This resource includes a chart comparing policy scope in each country and more details on limits to television advertising.
Fact sheet describing the prevalence and persuasive nature of junk food marketing and its impact on children and adolescents. Learn how unhealthy food marketing contributes to global childhood obesity and about recommendations for regulations to limit its harms.
Updated May 2022
Stages of the Nutrition Transition
Diagram outlining the five phases of the Nutrition Transition and their associated dietary and activity patterns.
© Barry M. Popkin, 2021
Sweetened beverage tax evaluations: Stakeholders, potential outcomes, and responses
Diagram depicting the relationships between stakeholders’ interests (governments, health advocates, consumers, and industry), their potential responses to sweetened beverage taxes, and measurable outcomes for evaluations.
Fact sheet describing how front-of-package (FOP) labels can help consumers make informed, healthier choices and encourage industry to improve the nutritional profile of their products and portfolios. Learn about the evidence for different FOP labels, what types of labels are in use around the world today, and key elements to consider when developing and implementing an effective FOP labelling policy.
Updated October 2021
Global maps showing countries with policies to improve nutrition in public schools, including mandatory standards for foods available, restrictions on unhealthy foods available, fruit and vegetable initiatives, and bans on vending machines in schools.
Taxing sugary drinks: A fiscal policy to improve public health
Learn about the connections between excess sugar consumption and prevalence of obesity and other noncommunicable diseases, as well as real-world evidence for how sugary drink taxes can reduce sugar intake, improve health, and increase government revenue while decreasing health care costs and the personal and shared burdens of nutrition-related diseases.
Updated November 2022
Fact sheet describing ultra-processed foods and drinks and the threat they pose to public health worldwide as they make up increasingly greater portions of the global diet. Learn how to identify ultra-processed products; review the evidence for their association with a multitude of risk factors, diseases, and mortality; and explore policy options to reduce consumption.
Updated May 2021 (available in Spanish and Portuguese)
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
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
Cash transfer programs are important for improved nutrition in low- and middle-income countries
Authors: Barry M. Popkin
Published in: The Journal of Nutrition, October 12, 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 BM, Shu Wen Ng
Published in: Obesity Reviews, October 10, 2021 view full text
The WHO South-East Asia region nutrient profile model is quite appropriate for India: An exploration of 31,516 Food Products
Authors: Chandra Pandav, Lindsey Smith Taillie, Donna R. Miles, Bridget A. Hollingsworth, Barry M. Popkin
Published in: Nutrients, August 15, 2021 view full text
The influence of front-of-package nutrition labeling on consumer behavior and product reformulation
Authors: Christina A. Roberto, Shu Wen Ng, Montserrat Ganderats-Fuentes, David Hammond, Simón Barquera, Alejandra Jauregui, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: Annual Review of Nutrition, August 2, 2021 view full text
The need to reshape global food processing: a call to the United Nations Food Systems Summit
Authors: Carlos Augusto Monteiro, Mark Lawrence, Christopher Millett, Marion Nestle, Barry M Popkin, Gyorgy Scrinis, Boyd Swinburn
Published in: BMJ Global Health, July 1, 2021 view full text
Food environment solutions for childhood obesity in Latin America and among Latinos living in the United States.
Authors: Ana Clara Duran, Melissa Mialon, Eric Crosbie, Melissa Lorena Jensen, Jennifer L. Harris, Carolina Batis, Camila Corvalán, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: Obesity Reviews, June 21, 2021 view full text