Associations Among Select State Policies and the Nutritional Quality of Household Packaged Food Purchases in the United States from 2008 Through 2017.

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Date: Apr. 2022
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report
Length: 536 words

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Keywords State policy; Packaged food purchases; Nutrition; Diet quality; Socioeconomic disparities Abstract Background Policy interventions are important public health tools because they can reach large numbers of people. State context has been associated with health outcomes, yet few studies have examined the extent to which state-level policies are associated with dietary quality. Objectives The objective of this study was to evaluate whether state policies are associated with the nutritional quality of household packaged food purchases. Design This observational study used data from Nielsen Homescan, an open-cohort household panel where participants track purchases, and a combination of state-level food and social safety net policy variables from 2008 through 2017. Participants and setting This study included 615,634 household-year observations in the United States from 2008 through 2017. Household-year observations were excluded in the case that a household did not make a minimum number of purchases and in the case that they had incorrect geographic information. The final analytic sample was 611,719 household-years. Main outcome measures Study outcomes included a set of nutrition-related measures of public health interest, including nutrients of concern (eg, sugar, saturated fat, and sodium) and calories from specific food groups (eg, fruits, nonstarchy vegetables, processed meats, mixed dishes, sugar-sweetened beverages, and desserts and snacks). Statistical analysis This study used multilevel generalized linear models with state fixed effects on three samples: all households, only households with low income, and only households with low educational attainment. Results Few significant associations were found between healthy food retail policies and the nutritional quality of purchases, and mixed associations were found between social safety net policies and lower or higher quality packaged food purchases. Conclusions Little evidence was found that state policy context in 2008 through 2017 was associated with the quality of packaged food purchases. However, variation in state policies is increasing over time, warranting future research into the relationship between these policies, the quality of packaged food purchases, and the rest of the diet. Author Affiliation: (1) Food Research & Action Center, Washington, DC (2) Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (3) Department of Nutrition at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (4) Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill * Address correspondence to: Allison Maria Lacko, PhD, Food Research & Action Center, 1200 18th St NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Article History: Received 29 June 2020; Revised 12 September 2021; Accepted 30 September 2021 (footnote) Supplementary materials:, , , , , , , , and , , , are available at (footnote) STATEMENT OF POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. (footnote) FUNDING/SUPPORT The authors thank Arnold Ventures and the National Institutes of Health Population Research Infrastructure Program (P2C HD050924) for support. A. M. Lacko is funded by the Population Research Training grant (No. T32 HD007168) at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and by the University of North Carolina Royster Society of Fellows. Byline: Allison Maria Lacko, PhD [] (1,4,*), David Guilkey, PhD (2,4), Barry Popkin, PhD (3,4), Shu Wen Ng, PhD (3,4)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A697070974