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96 publications, sorted by date 

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Amber Waves, March 04, 2014
Between 2005 and 2010, Americans experienced large changes in employment and income that affected their food expenditures and intake. Once demographic characteristics unrelated to the Great Recession are controlled for, food-away-from-home (FAFH) calories among working-age adults declined about 15 p...
Amber Waves, February 03, 2014
USDA’s food and nutrition assistance programs—many of which were conceived half a century ago—are still some of the Federal Government’s most important means of fighting poverty and improving the economic well-being of needy Americans.
ERR-161, January 16, 2014
This study analyzes how improvements in dietary quality among working-age adults from 2005 to 2010 may be related to reduced consumption of food away from home.
Amber Waves, November 18, 2013
An analysis of the effect of SNAP participation on diet quality yielded mixed results, showing that participants had slightly lower overall diet quality than low-income nonparticipants but better nutritional outcomes for some dietary components.
ERR-156, September 18, 2013
This report links Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) administrative records from Texas to the American Community Survey (ACS). The large sample size of the ACS enables the estimation of SNAP access rates for demographic subgroups and counties with the State and for demographic subgroup...
AP-062, September 16, 2013
This collection of nine charts and maps presents essential information on the farm sector, food spending and prices, food security, rural communities, and the interaction of agriculture and natural resources.
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. “Competitive foods” that many schools sell in addition to USDA school meals will also follow new nutrition standards beginnin...
ERR-154, August 27, 2013
School lunches have had to meet new nutrition standards since the fall of 2012. Using 2005 School Nutrition and Dietary Assessment data, this report examines whether students who attended schools serving more fruits and vegetables, in amounts that would meet the new standards, actually ate more of t...
Amber Waves, July 01, 2013
As food companies compete for customers, the health and nutritional features of their products are becoming an increasingly important component of their differentiation strategies. Government policies, new health information, and changing consumer preferences all shape the number and types of health...
EIB-114, June 26, 2013
This report examines U.S. students' competitive food selections, their contribution to school foodservice revenues, and how that contribution might change under more strict nutrition standards.
ERR-149, May 29, 2013
Decreases in intake of fluid milk since the 1970s mainly reflect changes in consumption frequency, not portion sizes. Generational differences in intake frequency have contributed to the per capita decline in intake.
Amber Waves, May 06, 2013
Recent ERS research found that one-third of U.S. households with a working-age adult who was unable to work due to a disability were food insecure in 2009-10. Disability has emerged as one of the strongest known factors that affect a household’s food security.
ERR-147, April 24, 2013
Research has shown that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly the Food Stamp Program) effectively reduces food insecurity, but questions remain about the extent to which it affects the quality of adult participants’ diets. This report compares the Healthy Eating Index scores...
ERR-146, April 16, 2013
Many households suffered a decrease in income during the 2007-2009 recession. This study examines households' purchases of fluid milk products in response to income and price changes. It focuses on three levels of fat content, two package sizes, and organic versus conventional milk.
Amber Waves, March 04, 2013
ERS recently updated several national measures of food access, providing estimates of the number of individuals and geographic areas with limited access to healthful and affordable food. Between 2006 and 2010, the number of low-income individuals living more than 1 mile from a supermarket increased,...
Amber Waves, February 21, 2013
Grocery store purchase data reveal that Americans underspend on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and overspend on refined grains, fats, and sugars/sweets, compared with USDA's dietary recommendations, a pattern that showed little change from 1998 to 2006. Food choices when eating out are even mo...
EIB-108, February 20, 2013
New food labeling regulations and new diet and nutrition information can affect food companies’ use of health- and nutrition-related claims. This report examines the use of these claims from 1989 to 2010.
EIB-105, December 27, 2012
The increased popularity and lower nutritional quality of food away from home (FAFH) prompts new health promotion strategies. Over the past 30 years, food at home has changed more in response to dietary guidance than FAFH, particularly for fat and calcium content.
VGS-352, December 18, 2012
This issue covers basic supply, demand, price, and trade analysis for fresh market vegetables, processing vegetables, dry beans, dry peas and lentils, and sweet potatoes. Features include a discussion how ERS forecasts retail vegetable prices and 2012 vegetable pricing.
Amber Waves, December 03, 2012
Children today are consuming about 200 more calories a day from snacks than they did in the 1970s. Replacing calorie-dense snack foods with fruits and vegetables can be one step in addressing childhood obesity and does not have to compromise a family’s food budget.
ERR-143, November 28, 2012
Efforts to encourage Americans to improve their diets and to eat more nutritious foods presume that a wide variety of these foods are accessible to everyone. But for some Americans and in some communities, access to healthy foods may be limited. Using population data from the 2010 Census, income a...
EIB-102, November 08, 2012
The nutritional quality of Americans’ diets has increasingly become a focus of economic research due to its effects on health outcomes. Health care and other costs associated with obesity, overweight, diabetes, and other diet-related ailments continue to swell. This study focuses on consumers’ gr...
VGS-351, September 27, 2012
The farm value of all mushrooms totaled a record $1.1 billion in the 2011/12 crop year.
Amber Waves, September 20, 2012
Food preferences, nutrition knowledge, and access to stores and restaurants all share a role with food prices in consumers’ food purchasing decisions and related health outcomes. Price changes have limited effects on food choices and health outcomes, but the effects may be larger when paired with in...
TB-1934, August 15, 2012
The ERS Eating and Health Module, a supplement to the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), included questions on height and weight so that respondents’ Body Mass Index (BMI—a measure of body fat based on height and weight) could be calculated and analyzed with ATUS time-use data in obesity research. So...
ERR-133, May 30, 2012
This study provides a quantitative assessment of food security using a large household-level expenditure survey conducted by the Government of India during 2004/05. The analysis tests the impact of several key assumptions required to estimate actual calories consumed from the expenditure data. The a...
EIB-86, November 09, 2011
This report uses data from the 2006-08 ERS Eating & Health Module of the American Time Use Survey to present an overview of Americans’ eating and other food-related time use patterns, including grocery shopping and meal preparation, and teenage time use patterns in relation to school meals. On an av...
ERR-118, June 30, 2011
One factor that may be important in explaining rising childhood obesity is food prices. This report explores the effect of food prices on children’s Body Mass Index (BMI) using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) and the Quarterly Food-at-Home Pri...
EIB-75, May 04, 2011
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods to low-income women, infants, and children at nutritional risk. Since October 2009, WIC packages have included a fixed-value voucher for purchasing fruits and vegetables. Although this shoul...
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
Federal dietary guidance advises Americans to consume more vegetables and fruits because most Americans do not consume the recommended quantities or variety. Food prices, along with taste, convenience, income, and awareness of the link between diet and health, shape food choices. We used 2008 Nielse...
AP-050, November 10, 2010
The Senate Report 111-039 accompanying S. 1406, the 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) prepare and publish a report regarding consumer perceptions of canned fruits and vegetables. In the absence of consumer...
ERR-104, October 04, 2010
Based on 2 days of dietary data and panel data methods, this study includes estimates of how each child’s consumption of food away from home, food from school (which includes all foods available for purchase at schools, not only those offered as part of USDA reimbursable meals), and caloric sweetene...
Amber Waves, September 01, 2010
ERS researchers found that a 20-percent tax on caloric sweetened beverages could reduce consumption, calorie intake, and body weight even after accounting for increased consumption of alternative beverages.
ERR-100, July 02, 2010
The link between high U.S. obesity rates and the overconsumption of added sugars, largely from sodas and fruit drinks, has prompted public calls for a tax on caloric sweetened beverages. Faced with such a tax, consumers may reduce consumption of these sweetened beverages and substitute nontaxed beve...
ERR-96, June 03, 2010
The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers food and nutrition assistance programs that promote fruit and vegetable consumption. But consumption remains relatively low among program recipients as well as among the general U.S. population. The perceived high cost of produce is often cited as a det...
AP-047, April 05, 2010
The Eating & Health (EH) Module of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) collects additional data to analyze relationships among time use patterns and eating patterns, nutrition, and obesity; food and nutrition assistance programs; and grocery shopping and meal preparation. This User’s Guide provides ...
Amber Waves, March 01, 2010
A small percentage of U.S. households live in “food deserts,” where access to a supermarket or large grocery store is a problem. Low-income residents of these neighborhoods and those who lack transportation tend to rely more on smaller neighborhood stores that may not carry healthy foods or offer th...
ERR-90, February 16, 2010
Food away from home (FAFH) has been associated with poor diet quality in many studies. It is difficult, however, to measure the effect of FAFH on diet quality since many unobserved factors, such as food preferences and time constraints, influence not just our choice of where to eat but also the nutr...
VGS-333-01, August 19, 2009
Growth over time in the demand for fresh vegetables for at-home consumption may slow because of differences in the behavior of younger and older birth cohorts. A birth cohort includes people born in the same year and is similar in concept to a generation. People born around the same point in history...
AP-036, June 25, 2009
This report fills a request for a study of food deserts—areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food—from the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The report summarizes findings of a national-level assessment of the extent and characteristics of food deserts, analysis of the co...
EB-13, April 01, 2009
One of the most worrisome aspects of the growing tide of obesity in the United States is the high rate of overweight among children. Over one in five young children, ages 2 to 5, are at risk of being overweight. The number of children at risk of being overweight has grown in the past two decades, as...
EIB-48, April 01, 2009
This book contains a sampling of recent ERS research illustrating the breadth of the Agency's research on current policy issues: from biofuels to food consumption to land conservation to patterns of trade for agricultural products.
EIB-44, March 20, 2009
This study analyzed updated food loss estimates for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, and seafood obtained through a competitive grant with the Perishables Group, Inc. The new estimates were obtained for use in the ERS Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data. They had little impact on per capita ...
Amber Waves, March 01, 2009
With over 30 million children served each school day, USDA-sponsored school meals provide an important opportunity to improve diet and health. Schools can exert considerable control over the food choices they offer and the manner in which they are presented. Understanding how simple rules of thumb ...
ERR-70, January 09, 2009
Americans' diets, particularly those of low-income households, fall short of Government recommendations in the quantity of fruits and vegetables consumed. Some proposals suggest that a price subsidy for those products would encourage low-income Americans to consume more of them. This study estimated...
AP-031, January 02, 2009
Among the many responsibilities of USDA are implementing the Food Stamp Program and other food and nutrition assistance programs; managing Federal forest land; implementing standards of humane care and treatment of animals; providing incentives for adopting wildlife habitat enhancements and other co...
ERR-67, December 29, 2008
Food security—consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life—is essential for health and good nutrition. The extent to which a nation’s population achieves food security is an indication of its material and social well-being. Differences in the prevalence of household-level food insecu...
ERR -68, December 15, 2008
Changing small factors that influence consumer choice may lead to healthier eating within controlled settings, such as school cafeterias. This report describes a behavioral experiment in a college cafeteria to assess the effects of various payment options and menu selection methods on food choices. ...
Amber Waves, November 01, 2008
Low-income households that receive maximum food assistance benefits usually can afford a healthy diet; others may have more difficulty.
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-55, March 12, 2008
An increase in the price of fruits and vegetables relative to less healthy foods could reduce consumers' incentives to purchase fruits and vegetables and result in less healthy diets. Whether such a change in relative prices and incentives has occurred in the United States is difficult to prove beca...
Amber Waves, February 01, 2008
U.S. and international trends in food spending, food consumption, and food delivery systems. Across countries and income levels worldwide, consumers are choosing to spend their additional income on some combination of increased quality, convenience, and variety of foods. Food delivery and consumptio...
ERR-66, November 17, 2007
Eighty-nine percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2007, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (11.1 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the yea...
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-6-3, September 15, 2006
USDA expenditures for its 15 food assistance programs totaled $27.7 billion during the first half of fiscal 2006 (October 2005-March 2006), a 7-percent increase over the first half of fiscal 2005. Five programs—the Food Stamp Program; the National School Lunch Program; the Special Supplemental Nutri...
EIB-5, September 29, 2005
Food Dynamics provides the most up-to-date information on consumer behavior and retail food market conditions.
ERR-8, July 20, 2005
Over 60 percent of China's consumers live on farms. Consequently, a large share of the agricultural commodities produced in China is consumed on farms by the rural population. This study of rural food consumption patterns in China finds that rural households rely on self-produced commodities, especi...
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...
ERR-1, March 23, 2005
This report analyzes consumer demand and nutritional issues associated with nonalcoholic beverages purchased for at-home use by looking at demographic variables such as household size, household income, education level, and region. The beverages include milk, carbonated soft drinks, bottled water, f...
AP-016, March 18, 2005
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2005. The three priority research areas were (1) Strengthening Economic Incentives in Food Assistance Programs, (2) Food Assistance as a Safety Net, and (3) Food Choices, Diet Qua...
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-796-3, 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-796-4, 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-796-5, 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...
AER-839, December 15, 2004
Whether the poor pay more for food than other income groups is an important question in food price policy research. Stores serving low-income shoppers differ in important ways from stores that receive less of their revenues from Food Stamp redemptions. Stores with more revenues from Food Stamps are ...
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 ...
AER-831, April 01, 2004
Recent industry innovations improving the safety of the Nation's meat supply range from new pathogen tests, high-tech equipment, and supply chain management systems, to new surveillance networks. Despite these and other improvements, the market incentives that motivate private firms to invest in inn...
AP-014, March 19, 2004
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2004. The three priority research areas were (1) Strengthening Economic Incentives in Food Assistance Programs, (2) Food Assistance as a Safety Net, and (3) Obesity, Diet Quality,...
AIB-789, February 28, 2004
Expanding food trade has brought into sharper relief the divergence among countries' food safety regulations and standards. Differences in food safety regulations and standards can cause frictions and even disputes that interrupt international food trade. Countries are, however, tackling food safety...
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."
AIB-789-2, February 28, 2004
This research brief examines the conceptual relationships between food safety and international trade.
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-789-4, 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-789-5, February 28, 2004
This report examines how U.S. and other nations responded to foodborne illness outbreaks traced to internationally-traded food.
AIB-789-6, February 28, 2004
This research brief discusses regulations intended to control mycotoxins in the food supply, and examines their implications for international trade.
AIB-789-7, February 28, 2004
This research summarizes three case studies of how trade in seafood products can be affected by food safety concerns.
AP-012, March 13, 2003
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2003. The three priority research areas were (1) Program Design and Operations, (2) Food Assistance as a Safety Net, and (3) Obesity, Diet Quality, and Health Outcomes. This publi...
AP-011, February 24, 2003
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3)...
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.
AER-821, February 01, 2003
Over the next two decades, U.S. food expenditures will continue to rise. This study examines how projected food expenditures will be affected by demographic changes, population growth, increasing per capita income levels, and other factors.
TB-1898, April 19, 2002
The economic well-being of the U.S. population with incomes below 130 percent of the official poverty guideline is of special interest to policymakers and food assistance program administrators. For example, the Food Stamp Program uses gross income below this level as one of several criteria for det...
AP-010, March 08, 2002
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2002. The five priority research areas were (1) Program Design and Operations, (2) Food Assistance as a Safety Net, (3) Obesity, (4) Eating Patterns, Diet Quality, and Health Outc...
AP-009, January 03, 2002
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3)...
AP-008, April 06, 2001
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2001. The five priority research areas were (1) Workforce Attachment, Income Volatility, and Administrative Costs, (2) Food Assistance as a Safety Net, (3) Targeting High Needs Su...
AP-007, March 07, 2001
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3)...
AP-006, March 01, 2000
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2000. The four priority research areas were (1) Reaching Underserved Populations, (2) Food Programs as a Safety Net and Client Well-Being, (3) Child Nutrition, and (4) Behavioral ...
AP-005, January 03, 2000
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3)...
TB-1877, August 01, 1999
An input-output model is used to analyze price pass-through effects of a minimum wage increase on prices of the food and kindred products and food-service industries. These sectors employ a disproportionate share of minimum wage workers, but results suggest a $0.50 increase in the present minimum wa...
AIB-750, May 01, 1999
Individual chapters in this book provide different perspectives on the nutrition problem in the United States: what are the economic costs associated with unhealthy eating patterns; how do dietary patterns compare with dietary recommendations; how do national income and prices, advertising, health c...
AP-004, February 24, 1999
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 1999. The five priority research areas were (1) The Food Stamp Program as a Safety Net, (2) Better Serving the Working Poor, (3) WIC Program Research, (4) Child Nutrition Issues, ...
AER-772, December 01, 1998
Most American diets do not meet Federal Food Guide Pyramid dietary recommendations. On average, people consume too many servings of added fats and sugars and too few servings of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, lean meats, and foods made from whole grains--compared with a reference set of Food Gu...
AP-003, November 20, 1998
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3)...
TB-1866, May 12, 1998
A comprehensive model is developed to measure the extent that nutrition knowledge and diet-health awareness, among other factors, influence an individual's Healthy Eating Index (HEI), USDA's measure of overall diet quality. This is the first study that rigorously attempts to examine variation in the...
AP-002, April 06, 1998
ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 1998. The three priority research areas were (1) Dietary and Nutrition Outcomes, (2) Food Program Targeting and Delivery, (3) Program Forecasting and Budget Analysis. This publica...
AER-746, December 31, 1996
Recent USDA surveys point out several shortcomings in children's diets. The share of calories from total and saturated fat averaged 4 and 3 percentage points above the recommendations. The sodium intake averaged 23 percent above the 2,400 milligrams recommended by some authorities. These dietary pro...

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