The ASU Food Policy and Environment Research Group explores public health approaches for improving healthy food access, eating behaviors, and health outcomes. Some of these research projects examine:

  • Environmental determinants of childhood obesity
  • School food programs and policies
  • Federal food assistance policies
  • Impact of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in schools
  • Community food environment’s influence on eating behaviors
  • Evaluating and improving corner store healthfulness
  • Menu labeling use and influence on eating behaviors
  • Determinants and impact of receiving doctor’s advice to lose weight
  • Sugar sweetened beverage consumption among children
  • Developing rapid assessment tools for measurement

Current & Recently Funded Projects

Examining Obesity Declines among School Children: The Role of Changes in the Food and Physical Activity Environments.
Funding Agency:  National Institutes of Health (NHLBI-R01), $2,950,306
This study aims to identify alterable factors in the food and PA environment associated with declines in obesity rates among school children in order to develop tailored interventions for reducing the burden of childhood obesity in schools and communities across the country.

Impact of Environmental Changes on Children’s BMI and Behaviors: A Panel Study.
Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health (NICHD-R01), $3,027,486
This longitudinal study is tracking changes in food and PA behaviors and weight outcomes among 1200 low-income children in five New Jersey cities and capturing changes in their environment. The project aims to assess the impact of environmental changes on children’s weight outcomes and associated behaviors.

Tracking the Impact on Children of Changes in the Food and Physical Activity Environments.
Funding Agency: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, $559,798
This project will complement the NICHD-R01 grant (below) and track children’s exposure to a comprehensive set of changes in their environment – intended or not – related to food and physical activity (PA) behaviors and weight status.

Studying the impact of food and physical activity environments in and around schools on students’ weight status.
Funding Agency: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, $130,000
This project will assess the impact of changes in food and physical activity environments in and around school on students’ weight status over time.

Improving Accuracy of Classifying Child Weight Status in Population-Based Studies.
Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health (NICHD-R03), $154,500
This project will compare the accuracy of classifying the weight status of children using parent-measured heights and weights over to parent reported measurements.

Developing a Pathway to Building Public-Private Partnerships for Expanding the Impact of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
Funding Agency: Maricopa County Department of Public Health, $40,000
This project will examine how schools and grocery stores may partner to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among students and their families.