Amber Waves, May 02, 2016
Recent studies show that the effect of food store access on dietary quality may be limited. Most consumers—both low-income and higher income—consider store characteristics other than proximity in deciding where to shop, as they seek the products, prices, and other features they value.
EIB-143, August 20, 2015
School meal programs are adjusting to stronger nutritional standards, but face challenges in maintaining paid lunch participation to meet revenue goals and to help avoid stigma toward children receiving free or reduced-price food.
Amber Waves, June 01, 2015
Federal investments in nutrition research more than doubled in inflation-adjusted dollars from 1985 to 2009, with more research being funded in the later years through competitive grants to non-Federal researchers than through Federal nutrition laboratories or land-grant universities.
Amber Waves, April 06, 2015
USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) directly affects participants’ health through improved diets and greater use of health care services. WIC also indirectly impacts food choices, diet, and health of non-participants through its effects on food stores...
Amber Waves, March 02, 2015
To reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, some policymakers and nutrition advocates argue that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits should not be allowed to be used for purchasing these beverages.
Amber Waves, February 02, 2015
New calorie labeling laws requiring chain restaurants and other eating places to post the calorie content of their offerings on menus and menu boards are most likely to influence food choices when consumers learn new, surprising information.
ERR-182, January 26, 2015
ERS explores the structure and function of the U.S. nutrition research system, particularly changes in Federal support. Federal investments in nutrition research grew from 1985 to 2009 in real terms, but the portfolio of research changed.
ERR-179, December 02, 2014
As chain restaurants phase in calorie menu labeling, even consumers who discriminate between high- and low-calorie items can better weigh the healthfulness of restaurant foods and make finer adjustments in their food choices.
Amber Waves, November 03, 2014
Participants in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) value nutrition as much as other consumers, but their attempts to balance nutrition goals with competing constraints—time, distance to grocery stores, and money—may make it harder for SNAP shoppers to make healthy choices.
Amber Waves, September 08, 2014
Consumers who value health are more likely to use nutrition information when eating out. Those who engage in healthy eating behaviors at home—such as consulting Nutrition Facts labels on grocery store foods or keeping dark green vegetables in their refrigerators, freezers, or pantry shelves—are more...
EIB-127, June 27, 2014
The Affordable Care Act will require posted nutrition information in many eating venues. ERS examines demographic traits and dietary habits of U.S. consumers of away-from-home food, establishing a baseline before the law is implemented.
Amber Waves, May 05, 2014
When ERS researchers examined the types of vegetables and vegetable-containing foods eaten by Americans, they found that instead of eating vegetables in their simple, unadorned state, Americans often eat vegetables prepared in ways that add calories and sodium and remove dietary fiber.
ERR-161, January 16, 2014
Survey data show diet quality improvements from 2005 to 2010 among working-age adults, with changes in intake of calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, and fiber, and fewer meals outside the home.
Amber Waves, September 03, 2013
ERS research found that offering school lunches with a healthier mix of vegetables was associated with higher consumption of healthier vegetables, but also higher food costs. "Nudging" students can increase acceptance of healthier foods.
Amber Waves, July 01, 2013
Food companies included voluntary health- or nutrition-related claims on more than 40 percent of new foods and beverages in 2010 – attributes such as low in fat, high in fiber, gluten-free, and sodium-free.
Amber Waves, February 21, 2013
In grocery stores, Americans underspend on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and overspend on refined grains, fats, and sugars/sweets, compared with dietary guidance Away-from-home foods are even less consistent with dietary guidance.
EIB-108, February 20, 2013
New food products introduced with voluntary health- and nutrition-related claims accounted for 43.1 percent of all new U.S. food product introductions in 2010, up from 25.2 percent in 2001 and 34.6 percent in 1989.
EIB-105, December 27, 2012
Americans are consuming more of their daily caloric intake away from home, primarily from table-service and fast-food restaurants.
EIB-95, April 18, 2012
ERS examined recent reductions in the trans fat content of new food products, the use and market success of “no trans fats” package claims, and whether manufacturers are substituting healthful ingredients for trans fats.
EIB-83, September 23, 2011
ERS finds that there is a heightened realism among Americans about their own diets, and examines how perceptions of diet quality vary with food expenditures, household food availability, and eating patterns.
Amber Waves, March 14, 2011
A 2010 Federal law will require U.S. chain restaurants to display calorie information on their menus and menu boards. Will consumers use this information to make healthier food choices?
EIB-71, February 01, 2011
ERS used retail scanner data to estimate the average prices of 153 fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. The report includes estimates of the cost of meeting the recommendations of USDA’s recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines
Amber Waves, June 01, 2009
Policies designed to improve the diet quality and health of Americans are likely to have only marginal effects on consumers’ food choices. However, policies targeted directly at consumers such as nutrition information and education programs, along with labeling regulations, can spur the reformulatio...
EIB-39, September 09, 2008
This report examines U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data on refusals of food offered for importation into the United States from 1998 to 2004. Although the data do not necessarily reflect the distribution of risk in foods, the study found that import refusals highlight food safety problems ...
ERR-63, August 11, 2008
ERS examines changes on consumers’ use of nutrition labels on food items between 1995-96 and 2005-06 and finds that use has declined for most components of labels.
ERR-62, August 11, 2008
Using a consumer demand model, ERS illustrates how both long-term health objectives and immediate visceral influences (e.g., time pressure) influence food choices.
Amber Waves, November 01, 2007
The economics behind food labeling provides insight into the dynamics of voluntary and mandatory food labeling and the influence labeling has on consumers' food choices.
EIB-29-8, September 27, 2007
Currently, the effects of the Food Stamp Program on the food choices and diet quality of participants are the subject of much debate. Improved evaluation of the nutrition and health effects of the program would be of use to program and policy officials, but most of the existing research is limited b...
EIB-29-7, September 27, 2007
With obesity the most prevalent nutrition problem facing Americans at all economic levels, promoting diets that provide adequate nutrition without too many calories has become an important objective for the Food Stamp Program. Findings from behavioral economics suggest innovative, low-cost ways to i...
EIB-29-6, September 27, 2007
The Food Stamp Nutrition Education (FSNE) component of the Food Stamp Program is intended to improve the food choices, diet quality, and health of program participants. This brief discusses the FSNE program, how it operates, and how it has grown over time. The brief also considers the challenges of ...
EIB-29-5, September 27, 2007
This brief examines how consumers respond to food prices and how consumers’ response to price influences their purchases of particular foods, using examples drawn from previous ERS research. Implications of the findings for the use of price interventions to improve food choices are considered.
EIB-29-4, September 27, 2007
The Food Stamp Program provides benefits that low-income households can use to purchase food in grocery stores. The rise in obesity has raised the question of whether food stamp participants would purchase more healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, if food stamp benefits were higher. This re...
EIB-29-3, September 27, 2007
The cost of “enough food,” estimated from the amount that low- and medium-income households in a geographic area report needing to spend to just meet their food needs, differs substantially across States and among metropolitan areas. In areas with high food costs, many food-stamp recipients are like...
EIB-29-1, September 27, 2007
The increased food purchasing power offered by the Food Stamp Program can promote food security and improve the overall economic well-being of low-income households. Now, as Americans struggle with obesity and other diet-related health problems, there is interest in whether the program can be more e...
EIB-29, September 27, 2007
Eight economic information bulletins compile evidence to address the question of whether the Food Stamp Program could do more to encourage healthful food choices.
ERR-31, November 20, 2006
To help Americans meet nutritional requirements while staying within caloric recommendations, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, and fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. This report provides one view of the potential imp...
EIB-19, October 17, 2006
Whether eating out or buying carry-out, Americans are consuming more and more of their calories from full-service and fast-food restaurant fare. The share of daily caloric intake from food purchased and/or eaten away from home increased from 18 percent to 32 percent between the late 1970s and the mi...
EIB-5, September 29, 2005
Food Dynamics provides the most up-to-date information on consumer behavior and retail food market conditions.
LDPM-13401, August 24, 2005
This report provides a detailed description and analysis of Japan’s policies that support its milk producers and regulate dairy markets. Domestic supply controls boost the milk price, and government subsidies for producing manufacturing milk, for environmental improvements, and for hazard insurance ...
Amber Waves, June 01, 2005
The list of policies that could potentially help Americans turn the corner on obesity and overweight is as long as the list of factors that influence an individual’s diet and lifestyle choices. The list of unintended consequences stemming from obesity policy is probably longer.
Amber Waves, June 01, 2005
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines encourage all Americans over age 2 to eat roughly half of their recommended 5 to 10 daily servings of grains, depending on calorie needs. The goal of this new recommendation is to improve Americans' health by raising awareness of whole grains and their role in nutritious ...
ERR-4, April 27, 2005
Americans spent about 46 percent of their total food budget on food away from home in 2002, up from 27 percent in 1962. Such foods tend to be less nutritious and higher in calories than foods prepared at home, and some studies have linked eating away from home to overweight and obesity in adults and...
AIB-796-5, February 14, 2005
The Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-Income Populations study examined several eating behaviors for children and adults using 1988-94 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-III) data. This summary focuses on the nutritional biochemistry blood tests and bone density measu...
AIB-796-4, February 14, 2005
The Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-Income Populations study examined several eating behaviors for children and adults using 1988-94 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-III) data. The measures provide a baseline to monitor eating behaviors of Americans, focusing on t...
AIB-796-3, February 14, 2005
The Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-Income Populations study examined several measures of body weight status for children and adults using 1988-94 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. The measures provide a baseline to monitor the weight status of Americans, fo...
AIB-796-1, February 14, 2005
The Healthy Eating Index measures how well American diets conform to recommended healthy eating patterns, looking at 10 dietary components. The Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-Income Populations study examined the Healthy Eating Index using 1988-94 National Health and Nutrition Examinati...
AIB-796, February 14, 2005
The five summaries in the Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-Income Populations series highlight key findings of the multi-volume Nutrition and Health Outcomes Study. The summaries examine the nutritional and health status of: Food Stamp Program (FSP) participants; Special Supplemental Nutr...
AIB-791, October 28, 2004
This report uses data from the USDA's 1994-96 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals and the 1994-96 Diet and Health Knowledge Survey to ascertain whether economic factors help explain weight differences among adults. Weight differs among demographic subgroups, and differences in specific ...
AIB-747, August 13, 2004
These reports synthesize economic analyses of the complex relationships in food markets of interest to officials responsible for public policy, decisionmakers in the industry, and researchers. Topics addressed so far include the economizing practices of low-income households in making food purchases...
TB-1911, May 14, 2004
A national survey of meat slaughter and processing plants indicates that market forces, in conjunction with regulation, have worked to promote the use of more sophisticated food safety technologies.
EFAN-04004, May 13, 2004
Since the mid-1970s, the prevalence of obesity and overweight has increased dramatically in the United States. The prevalence of overweight has tripled among children and adolescents, and nearly two out of three adult Americans are either overweight or obese. Although high health, social, and econom...
AER-831, April 01, 2004
Recent industry innovations improving the safety of the Nation's meat supply include new pathogen tests, high-tech equipment, supply chain management systems, and surveillance networks.
AER-830, March 18, 2004
This investigation into the traceability baseline in the United States finds that private sector food firms have developed a substantial capacity to trace.
AIB-789-7, February 28, 2004
This research summarizes three case studies of how trade in seafood products can be affected by food safety concerns.
AIB-789-6, February 28, 2004
This research brief discusses regulations intended to control mycotoxins in the food supply, and examines their implications for international trade.
AIB-789-5, February 28, 2004
This report examines how U.S. and other nations responded to foodborne illness outbreaks traced to internationally-traded food.
AIB-789-4, February 28, 2004
This research summarizes three case studies of how trade in meat and poultry products can be affected by food safety concerns.
AIB-789-3, February 28, 2004
This research brief examines the conceptual relationships between food safety and international trade, and discusses ways to resolve safety-related trade disputes.
AIB-789-2, February 28, 2004
This research brief examines the conceptual relationships between food safety and international trade.
AIB-789-1, February 28, 2004
This research brief presents some of the highlights of the ERS report, "International Trade and Food Safety: Economic Theory and Case Studies."
WRS-04-02, January 23, 2004
This report examines the economic rationale behind the various claims about the effects of mandatory country-of-origin labeling, thereby identifying the most likely outcomes. Profits motivate firms to innovate and introduce thousands of new food products each year to satisfy consumers' demand. Yet, ...
AER-828, November 07, 2003
This report examines the conceptual relationships between food safety and international trade and analyzes empirical examples from the meat and poultry, produce, food and animal feed crop, and seafood sectors.
Amber Waves, November 01, 2003
When consumers are made aware that food products are biotech, how will they react? As the largest market for U.S. producers, American consumers will render the ultimate verdict on the future of agricultural biotechnology in the United States.
TB-1903, April 04, 2003
Consumers' willingness to pay for food products decreases when the food label indicates that a food product is produced with the aid of modern biotechnology. This bulletin presents empirical evidence on consumers' willingness to pay for biotech foods based on the presence or absence of labels advisi...
AER-820, February 03, 2003
This report analyzes how U.S. consumption of food commodities is projected to rise through 2020. The study uses date from USDA's food intake survey to project the consumption, through 2020, of 25 food groups and 22 commodity groups.
EFAN-02-013, July 01, 2002
This report provides a toolkit of standardized measurement tools for assessing various aspects of community food security. It includes a general guide to community assessment and focused materials for examining six basic assessment components related to community food security. These include guides ...
WRS-01-1, May 30, 2001
Higher income, urbanization, other demographic shifts, improved transportation, and consumer perceptions regarding quality and safety are changing global food consumption patterns. Shifts in food consumption have led to increased trade and changes in the composition of world agricultural trade. Give...
FANRR-13, March 01, 2001
A minimum of $3.6 billion would be saved if breastfeeding were increased from current levels (64 percent in-hospital, 29 percent at 6 months) to those recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General (75 and 50 percent). This figure is likely an underestimation of the total savings because it represents cost...
AER-793, January 25, 2001
Federal intervention in food labeling is often proposed with the aim of achieving a social goal such as improving human health and safety, mitigating environmental hazards, averting international trade disputes, or supporting domestic agricultural and food manufacturing industries. Economic theory s...
AH-715, July 01, 1999
Government programs that are designed to improve health by changing diets focus on information: education, public information campaigns, and regulation of advertising and labeling. Research from several social science disciplines offers insights for public dissemination and regulation of nutrition i...
AER-741, August 01, 1996
Microbial pathogens in food cause an estimated 6.5-33 million cases of human illness and up to 9,000 deaths in the United States each year. Over 40 different foodborne microbial pathogens, including fungi, viruses, parasites, and bacteria, are believed to cause human illnesses. For six bacterial pat...