The Healthy Food Retail (HFR) Working Group is a team of researchers and leaders working on healthy food retail related issues and who are committed to improving the health of children and their families through improved research, evaluation, and dissemination of healthy food retail strategies. The working group is a collaborative effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Eating Research (HER) program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN).
Membership in the working group is open to all with an interest in obesity and nutrition in the food retail setting, including research focused on shifting consumer purchases toward healthier foods and beverages that align with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and to increase demand for these options. The primary population of interest is children, ages 0 to 18, and their families, especially in lower-income and racial and ethnic populations at highest risk for obesity. Settings of focus include a variety of retail outlets, e.g., supercenters/big box stores, supermarkets, grocery stores, corner stores, bodegas/tiendas, convenience stores, farmers’ markets, dollar stores, drug stores, and online food shopping. The working group is also interested in the role of retail food sources in relationship to other aspects and levels of the food system (e.g., wholesalers, manufacturers).
The mission of the HFR Working Group is to build a network of researchers and leaders from academia, non-profit organizations, government, and other funding agencies focused on increasing the quantity and quality of research in the area of childhood obesity and nutrition in the food retail setting to:
Special emphasis is placed on equity and addressing the needs of those at highest risk for obesity, especially lower-income and racial/ethnic populations.
Overall Goal: To identify the most effective strategies to shift consumers away from purchasing and consuming unhealthy, energy-dense foods and beverages, and instead toward purchasing and consuming healthier foods and beverages that align with the DGA, by designing, conducting, and disseminating research in the food retail setting on how to increase access to and demand for healthier options.
Download the Healthy Food Retail WG Overview for more information
Gittelsohn J, Rowan M, Gadhoke P. Interventions in small food stores to change the food
environment, improve diet, and reduce risk of chronic disease. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd9.110015
Healthy Food Retail Working Group
View the Healthy Food Retail October 2015 monthly call here: “Summary of Supermarket Scorecard Findings”
June 2016: View the Healthy Food Retail call and PPT slides here: “Healthy Food Retail Intervention Strategies”
October 2016: ‘Digital Food Marketing in the Big Data Era: Recent Developments’ (Jeffrey Chester, Center for Digital Democracy and Lori Dorfman, Berkeley Media Studies Group) and Berkeley Soda Tax & Implications for Retail (Jennifer Falbe and Kristine Madsen, University of California, Berkeley)
May 2017: View the Healthy Food Retail call and PPT slides here: “SSB Taxes and Preemption” presented by Jennifer Pomeranz, JD, MPH of the NYU College of Global Public Health
Healthy Food Retail Working Group: Policy Subgroup
February 2017: View the HFR Policy Subgroup call and PPT slides here: Parke Wilde, Tufts University, “SNAP and Local Supermarket Access” and Lisa Powell, University of Illinois at Chicago, “Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes, Consumption and Obesity”.
May 2017: View the HFR Policy subgroup call and PPT slides here: Jesse Shapiro, Brown University, ‘How are SNAP Benefits Spent? Evidence from a Retail Panel’
August 2017: View the special HFR Policy subgroup call focusing on the Tufts/UConn RIDGE Center Program and presentations by all new grantees
Healthy Food Retail Working Group: Retailers Subgroup
December 2016: A Conversation on the Retailers and Academic Collaboration Experience (Collin Payne and Pay N’ Save)
March 2017: View the HFR Retailers subgroup call featuring a presentation by Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN, Retail Food and Health Expert
May 2017: View the HFR Retailers subgroup call on: “Behavioral Economics and the Healthy Retail Environment: Examples from the Field” here.
View the HFR Retailers subgroup’s newly developed Grocery Retailer Academic Collaborative Guidelines (GRAC) here.
July 2017: View the HFR Retailers subgroup call on ‘Next Steps for the GRAC Guidelines: Setting the Agenda for 2017-18 here.
Healthy Food Retail Working Group: Methods Subgroup
November 2016: View the Healthy Food Retail call and PPT slides here: “The Healthfulness of Food and Beverage Purchases after the WIC Revisions”
March 2017: View the HFR Methods subgroup call and PPT slides here: “Valid Brief NEMS Tools and Retail Beverage Environment Surveys (NEMS-B and NEMS BPP)” featuring Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, of the University of Pennsylvania
HFR Working Group Leaders
Shannon Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, Professor, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago
Joel Gittelsohn, PhD, MS, Professor, Global Obesity Prevention Center, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
HFR Subgroups and Leaders:
For more information, please contact:
Emily Welker, MPH, RD
Research Associate, RWJF Healthy Eating Research