Summary: Hunger or Deportation: Implications of the Trump Administration’s Proposed Public Charge Rule

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest federal nutrition assistance program in the country, providing food to more than 40 million individuals, approximately half of whom are children.1 In September 2018, the Trump Administration proposed the “Public Charge” rule which would deny a path to citizenship for immigrants (lawfully-present or not) who participate in certain federal safety net programs, including SNAP.2,3 What are the implications of the Trump…

Summary: Make It Fresh, for Less! A Supermarket Meal Bundling and Electronic Reminder Intervention to Promote Healthy Purchases among Families with Children

Having a healthy balanced diet is important and necessary, especially for low-income families with children. About three-fourths of the population has an eating pattern that is low in vegetables, fruits, dairy, and oils (1). 44% of SNAP participants are children (2). Dr. Alyssa Moran, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, published a study focused on determining…

Summary: Communities for healthy living (CHL) – A family-centered childhood obesity prevention program integrated into Head Start services.

Why does obesity matter in preschool? In the US, 13.9% of 2 – 5 year old children have obesity. (1) Childhood obesity has substantial short- and long-term health consequences. (2) Contrary to popular belief, obesity in childhood increases the risk for obesity in adulthood; children don’t simply “grow out of it.” Nutrition habits take shape early in life. (3) Early childhood is a critical period for promoting long-term health. What…

Summary: Anti-hunger Groups are Blocking Nutrition Progress in SNAP

How are anti-hunger groups blocking nutrition progress in SNAP? EVERGREEN members Drs. Sara Bleich, Mary Gorski Findling, and Jason Block published a viewpoint in JAMA Pediatrics about the influence of anti-hunger groups on nutrition progress in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is the largest federal food assistance program in the U.S., and it provides approximately one in seven Americans with benefits to purchase food each month, with few…

Research Associate Spotlight: Dr. Caroline Dunn!

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Caroline is a community nutrition researcher, trained in human nutrition and health behavior and promotion, with a specific emphasis on obesity and chronic disease prevention in childhood through healthy eating and active living. Her training as a registered dietitian and work in community settings have led to her integrative line of research focusing on obesity and obesity-related behaviors including (1) evaluation of public policy on food access and…

Summary: The Impact of Healthier School Food Policies on Students’ Diets During and Outside of the School Day

Why is the school food environment important? Roughly 30 million children receive a school meal every day in the United States Many low-income students rely on school meals for up to half their daily energy intake Between 82-97% of middle and high school students have access to “competitive foods” (i.e. snacks and beverages sold in vending machines, à la carte, and in school stores) What is the impact of a…

Summary: Strategies to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and increase water access and intake among young children: Perspectives from expert stakeholders

Why does sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) and water consumption matter?   Nearly half of all children aged 2-5 years in the U.S. consume a sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) on a typical day.1 This is problematic since SSB consumption is linked to negative health consequences, including obesity.2 Research also suggests that the majority of children in the U.S. are inadequately hydrated, with over 20% of children aged 1-5 years not drinking any tap…

Doctoral Student Spotlight: Sophia Hua!

Doctoral Student in the Department of Nutrition Research Interests: She is broadly interested in obesity prevention via evidence-based food policy changes that impact the environment and individual behavior. This includes the impact of food policies, school lunch nutrition, and food labeling and marketing. Projects: She is currently working on a project investigating the health claims found on dietary supplements sold in pharmacies. Past Projects: Past projects she has been on include a long-term evaluation…

Summary: The Effect of Graphic Warnings on Sugary-Drink Purchasing

How do sugary drinks affect the United States? 63% of youth and 49% of adults drink at least one sugary beverage on a given day.1 Sugary drinks are associated with weight gain/obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout.1 Limiting sugary drink consumption can improve health and decrease susceptibility to disease. How can we decrease sugary drink purchasing? Doctoral student Laura…

Post-Doctoral Fellow Spotlight: Dr. Joshua Petimar!

Dr. Joshua Petimar, Post-Doctoral Fellow RESEARCH INTERESTS: Joshua is interested in evaluating nutrition policies that aim to improve diet quality and reduce obesity and related chronic diseases on a population level. He additionally conducts epidemiologic analyses that examine relationships between nutritional factors (particularly recommendation-based dietary patterns) and chronic disease risk. CURRENT RESEARCH: Joshua is working with Dr. Jason Block to investigate the impact of the federal calorie labeling law on…