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Podcast Topic: Food Policy

Podcast Topic: Food Policy

Christina Gibson-Davis podcastE221: Understanding Poverty, Wellbeing, and Food Security for US Children

November 30, 2023

As the parent of a 12-year-old child, I know that raising a child is one of the most profound and rewarding experiences of a person’s life. It is also shockingly expensive. The high cost of child rearing is particularly difficult for families with limited resources. To help us think through this issue, it is my great pleasure to welcome a colleague here at Duke: Dr. Christina Gibson-Davis, Professor of Public Policy. Christina studies economic inequality, and particularly how it affects families with children.

Related podcasts: Child Development & Nutrition | Diet & Nutrition | Equity, Race & Food Justice | Food Insecurity | Food Policy | School Meals | Social Safety Net & Food |


Waxman podcastE218: SNAP benefits still not enough for many families

October 19, 2023

With record-breaking food prices in 2022, it has become more expensive for families to buy the foods that they need. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, helps families purchase foods but families frequently spend their benefits before the next benefit cycle. USDA modifies SNAP benefits every year as a cost-of-living adjustment. But was the change in fiscal year 2023 enough to keep pace with food price inflation? Today, we talk with Elaine Waxman from the Urban Institute to find out.

Related podcasts: Child Development & Nutrition | Food Insecurity | Food Policy | Social Safety Net & Food |


Podcast Travis SmithE215: When Kids Age Out of WIC Support

September 25, 2023

The third largest food assistance program in the United States is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC for short. WIC is designed to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to the age of five who are at risk of inadequate nutrition. WIC provides funds for specific foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to healthcare. However, regardless of school attendance and access to school meals, children age out of the program the month after their fifth birthday. Today, I am talking with the University of Georgia’s Travis Smith, an agricultural economist who, along with his co-author, Pourya Valizedah studied the effects of aging out of WIC on children’s diets.

Related podcasts: Child Development & Nutrition | Food Insecurity | Food Policy | School Meals | Social Safety Net & Food |


Cotwright podcastE214: Championing MyPlate – USDA’s Director of Food & Nutrition Service Caree Cotwright

September 13, 2023

Our guest today is Dr. Caree Cotwright, director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity at the Food and Nutrition Service at the US Department of Agriculture. Dr. Cotwright is leading a USDA-wide approach to advancing food and nutrition security in the United States. Part of her responsibility includes the charge from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to make MyPlate a household name. MyPlate is the official visual reminder of the US government to make healthy food choices from each of the five food groups. Now, this turns out to be a tall but important order. About a quarter of US adults have heard of MyPlate, according to a recent survey.

Related podcasts: Child Development & Nutrition | Childhood Obesity | Diet & Nutrition | Food Policy |


Prager and Leive podcastE212: Do SNAP work requirements encourage self sufficiency or hurt those who need help the most?

August 17, 2023

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is one of the largest poverty alleviation programs in the United States and provides help to around 14% of the US population. Since 1996, the program has required able-bodied adults without dependents to work in order to receive food assistance. Proponents of work requirements say it prevents government dependency. Critics, however, argue work requirements push out the people who need food assistance the most. Today we’ll talk with two economists about the impact of SNAP work requirements: University of Rochester’s Elena Prager. and Adam Leive at the University of California, Berkeley.

Related podcasts: Equity, Race & Food Justice | Food Policy | Social Safety Net & Food |


Eren Elinav podcastE210: Clinical Trial Evidence: Metabolic Effect of Sweeteners

July 24, 2023

Sugar replacements, known generally as artificial sweeteners or non-nutritive sweeteners, have been in the news a lot. Rising concerns exist about safety and the effects of the sweeteners on many key features of health, including the microbiome. We need the help of talented scientists to sort through this complex web of information. Today’s guest, Professor Eran Elinav, has done some of the seminal research in this area. He’s an expert on systems immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Related podcasts: Diet & Nutrition | Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Branca Montez podcastE207: World Health Organization’s Recommendations on Non-Sugar Sweeteners

June 28, 2023

Today’s podcast is a continuation of our series exploring the safety of non-sugar sweeteners in both food and beverages. In 2022, the World Health Organization conducted a systematic review of the most current scientific evidence on the health effects of non-sugar sweeteners. This analysis of 283 studies reveals that non-sugar sweeteners can impact health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, adiposity, bladder cancer, and preterm birth. In 2023, the WHO released a guideline on the use of non-sugar sweeteners based on this 2022 review. Our guests today are Dr. Jason Montez, scientist with the World Health Organization, and technical lead on the systematic review and guideline. And, the director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety at the World Health Organization, Dr. Francesco Branca.

Related podcasts: Childhood Obesity | Diet & Nutrition | Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense | Obesity | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Podcast - Chile food lawE203: It works – Chile’s Law on Food Labeling and Marketing

April 18, 2023

In 2016, the Chilean government implemented a comprehensive set of obesity prevention policies aimed at improving the food environment for children. Results from a multi-year study of that regulation, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, can now tell us if Chilean children are better off as a result of the policy. Guests on this podcast include: Dr. Gabriela “Gabi” Fretes. She is an Associate Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute. Dr. Camila Corvalan is the Director of the Center for Research in Food Environments and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases Associated with Nutrition at the University of Chile. And, Dr. Sean Cash is an economist, Associate Professor of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment, and the Bergstrom Foundation Professor in Global Nutrition at Tufts University

Related podcasts: Child Development & Nutrition | Childhood Obesity | Children Food Preferences | Diet & Nutrition | Food Industry Behavior & Marketing | Food Policy | School Meals |


Podcast - Eduardo GomezE201: Junk Food Politics – the price of outsized corporate influence

April 10, 2023

Processed food industries are thriving in developing countries, despite government commitment to eradicating non-communicable diseases, prevention programs aim at reducing obesity, type two diabetes, and sugary beverage consumption. What’s more, political leaders in some countries are reluctant to regulate the marketing and sale of these products, particularly among vulnerable groups, like children and the poor. Like me, you might be asking yourself: why? Our guest today is the author of a new book, “Junk Food Politics: How Beverage and Fast Food Industries Are Reshaping Emerging Economics.” His name is Professor Eduardo Gomez, Director of the Institute of Health Policy and Politics, at Lehigh University.

Related podcasts: Advocacy & Food | Childhood Obesity | Food Industry Behavior & Marketing | Food Policy | Soda Taxes |


Podcast - Larian & KablanE199: How USAID is working to reduce wasted food in developing countries

March 14, 2023

Today we’re looking at food waste and loss on an international scale. Did you know that over 1/3 of the world’s food is lost or wasted? In low- and middle-income countries, over 40% of food loss occurs before a crop even makes it to the market. This food loss undermines efforts to end hunger and malnutrition. Wasted food contributes 8 to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing this challenge is critical to global food security, nutrition, and climate change mitigation.

Related podcasts: Agriculture & Tech | Climate Change, Environment & Food | Food Insecurity | Food Policy | Food Waste & Implications |