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Supplement to Healthy Eating Research to Support Commissioned Research on In-Store Marketing and Early Care and Education

Project Overview

Childhood obesity is one of the most serious threats to the health of our nation. The Healthy Eating Research (HER) program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), directed by Principal Investigator Mary Story, PhD, RD, supports research to identify and evaluate policies and environmental approaches at the organizational, community, state, and national levels that have the greatest potential to improve childrens diets and energy balance to reverse the nation¿s levels of childhood obesity. Commissioned research is a key element of the HER program. Strategic, timely commissioned research will supply evidence needed by advocates, policy-makers, and others to inform and guide policy action. The HER program advances the RWJF Childhood Obesity team¿s strategy of funding policy and environmental strategies with the potential to help all children in the U.S. achieve a healthy weight. With this grant, we will fund commissioned research on in-store marketing (ISM) and early care and education (ECE).

The ISM focus area touches on three of RWJFs four food-related policy priorities:

1. increasing access to high-quality, affordable foods through new or improved grocery stores and healthier corner stores and bodegas;
2. using pricing incentives and disincentives to promote the purchase of healthier foods; and
3. reducing youths exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods through regulation, policy and effective industry self-regulation.

ECE, an important setting for young children, holds great potential and is a recently added area of emphasis for RWJF. With this grant, HER will develop multiple contracts for commissioned research including analyses, studies, papers, research reviews, issue briefs, and fact sheets. Key partners and consultants will be engaged to complete this work. This 24-month, $1.175 million grant is proposed to begin on 10-1-14.




  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Project Collaborators

  • University of Minnesota
  • Duke University
  • Nemours
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • University of New England
  • PHAI
  • PHLC, Inc.
  • University of Georgia
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • University of Connecticut
  • Public Health Institute

Project Status


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