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What is the Charitable Food Nutrition Index (CFNI)?

The Charitable Food Nutrition Index (CFNI) summarizes the overall nutritional quality of a set of foods into a single score. It is based on the percentages of ranked foods according to HER Guidelines or SWAP tools, and it can be applied at all levels of the charitable food system: food ordered, procured, stocked, or distributed to clients.

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Educational Handout
FOCUS AREAS:
Charitable Food System
RUDD AUTHORS:
Caitlin Caspi
Maria Gombi-Vaca
Marlene Schwartz
Implementation of Universal School Meals during COVID-19 and beyond: Challenges and Benefits for School Meals Programs in Maine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools provided free school meals to all students in the United States, but this national universal school meals (USM) policy ended in school year (SY) 2022–2023; however, a few states have adopted policies to continue USM statewide for SY 2022–2023. We conducted a study with 43 school food authorities (SFAs) in Maine (with a USM policy) to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 and the concurrent implementation of USM, as well as examine differences in implementation by school characteristics, throughout the state. SFAs reported multiple benefits of USM including increased school meal participation; reductions in the perceived stigma for students from lower-income households and their families; and no longer experiencing unpaid meal charges and debt.

Full citation: Cohen, J., Polacsek, M., Hecht, C.E., Hecht, K., Read, M., Olarte, D., Patel., A., Schwartz, M.B., Turner, L., Zuercher, M., Gosliner, W., Richie., L. (2022) Implementation of Universal School Meals during COVID-19 and beyond:  Challenges and Benefits for School Meals Programs in Maine. Nutrients, 14(19):4031. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14194031

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Federal Food Assistance & Nutrition Programs
RUDD AUTHORS:
Marlene Schwartz
Validating a Nutrition Ranking System for Food Pantries Using the Healthy Eating Index-2015

This study aimed to validate the Healthy Eating Research (HER) nutrition guidelines ranked system against the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI) and develop a formula to summarize the percentages of tier-ranked foods in an overall nutritional quality index that correlated with HEI. Using secondary data of foods selected by clients in 16 Minnesota food pantries (n = 503 “client carts”), results showed HEI scores were positively associated with percentages of green foods and negatively associated with percentages of red foods. The index demonstrated a moderate-to-strong correlation with HEI and can be used as a single measure to summarize the overall nutritional quality for sets of tier-ranked foods

Full citation: Gombi-Vaca, M.F., Xu, R., Schwartz, M., Battista Hesse, M., Martin, K., Caspi, C.E. (2022) Validating a Nutrition Ranking System for Food Pantries Using the Healthy Eating Index-2015. Nutrients, 14, 3899. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14193899

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Charitable Food System
RUDD AUTHORS:
Maria Gombi-Vaca
Marlene Schwartz
Caitlin Caspi
Updated Meal Patterns in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Changes in Quality of Food and Beverages Served: A Natural Experimental Study

In this study, a natural experimental, longitudinal study of child care centers participating in CACFP was compared to nonparticipating centers to assess whether the quality of food and beverages served (per menu analysis) improved following the CACFP meal pattern changes in 2017. Results showed CACFP centers were more likely to meet several key nutrition standards in comparison to non-CACFP centers overall, but there were no differences in menu quality from before to after the 2017 standards change between CACFP and non-CACFP centers.

Full citation: Andreyeva T., Mozaffarian, R. S., & Kenny, E. L. (2022). Updated Meal Patterns in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Changes in Quality of Food and Beverages Served: A Natural Experimental Study. Nutrients, 14(18), 3786. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14183786

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Federal Food Assistance & Nutrition Programs
RUDD AUTHORS:
Tatiana Andreyeva
Perceived Advantages of and Concerns About Mobile Food Pantries Among Mothers Who Utilized Food Pantries Before or During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically increased the demand for food pantries. Using data from an online survey in early spring 2021, we explored interest in mobile food pantries among US mothers who received food from a food pantry before or during the COVID-19 pandemic (n = 53). Sixty percent were very interested in getting food from a mobile food pantry, 19% were quite a bit interested, and 21% were somewhat interested.

Full Citation: Waring, M. E., Caspi, C. E., Jeri-Wahrhaftig, A., Horkachuck, A., & Kapoor, I. (2022). Perceived advantages of and concerns about mobile food pantries among mothers who utilized food pantries before or during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/19320248.2022.2117005

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Charitable Food System
RUDD AUTHORS:
Caitlin Caspi
Feeding and Activity Environments for Infants and Toddlers in Childcare Centers and Family Childcare Homes in Southeastern New England

Few studies have documented the food and physical activity (PA) environments of childcare settings caring for children <24 months of age, although they may be key contributors to developing child PA and diet patterns. An adapted Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation tool was used to assess the food and activity environments for infants and toddlers in childcare centers (n = 21) and family childcare homes (FCCH) (n = 20) and explored differences by childcare type. Many similarities were found between childcare site types; however, centers used more recommended feeding practices than FCCH (e.g., 100% of center providers talked with toddlers about feelings of hunger or fullness compared to 18% of family childcare providers (FCCP), p < 0.01).

Full citation: Risica, P. M., Karpowicz, J. M., von Ash, T., Gans, K. M., Stowers, K. C., & Tovar, A. (2022). Feeding and Activity Environments for Infants and Toddlers in Childcare Centers and Family Childcare Homes in Southeastern New England. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(15), 9702. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159702

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Early Care & Education
RUDD AUTHORS:
Kristen Cooksey-Stowers
A Call for Theory to Guide Equity-Focused Federal Child Nutrition Program Policy Responses and Recovery Efforts in Times of Public Health Crisis

The United States is currently transitioning from acute, emergency response efforts that characterized the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, to longer term recovery initiatives. Overall, the pandemic has highlighted the need for  Child Nutrition Programs, but also knowledge gaps that remain regarding their impact. Theory is a critical tool to guide long term responses, enhance federal nutrition assistance programs, promote child and family health, and address structural inequities and health disparities. This article details how theoretical frameworks can be correctly integrated to improve health outcomes.

Full citation: Cohen, J. F., Stowers, K. C., Odoms-Young, A., & Franckle, R. L. (2022). A call for theory to guide equity-focused Federal Child Nutrition Program policy responses and recovery efforts in times of public health crisis. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, S2212-2672. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2022.07.016

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Federal Food Assistance & Nutrition Programs
RUDD AUTHORS:
Kristen Cooksey-Stowers
Body Checking and Body Image Avoidance as Partial Mediators of the Relationship between Internalized Weight Bias and Body Dissatisfaction

The association between weight bias internalization and body dissatisfaction has proven difficult to disrupt. In total, 279 female undergraduates were administered a battery of survey measures to examine whether body checking and body image avoidance mediate the relationship between weight bias internalization and body dissatisfaction. Findings suggest that body checking and body image avoidance may both partially account for the association between weight bias internalization and body dissatisfaction.

Full citation: Bennett, B. L., Wagner, A. F., & Latner, J. D. (2022). Body Checking and Body Image Avoidance as Partial Mediators of the Relationship between Internalized Weight Bias and Body Dissatisfaction. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(16), 9785. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19169785

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Weight Bias & Stigma
RUDD AUTHORS:
Brooke Bennett
Motivations for engaging in or avoiding conversations about weight: Adolescent and parent perspectives

Independent samples of parents (N = 1936) and unrelated adolescents (N = 2032) completed questionnaires assessing their agreement with different reasons they engage in, or avoid, parent-adolescent weight communication. Parents, irrespective of sex, race/ethnicity, and child’s weight status, expressed stronger motivations for engaging in weight communication in order for their child to feel good about his/her weight and body size compared to being motivated because a health professional raised their child’s weight as a concern. Adolescent motivations for weight communication with parents stemmed from health concerns and worry about their weight; avoidance stemmed from feeling embarrassed, upset, or not wanting to obsess about weight.

Full citation: Puhl, R. M., Lessard, L. M., Pudney, E. V., Foster, G. D., & Cardel, M. I. Motivations for engaging in or avoiding conversations about weight: Adolescent and parent perspectives. Pediatric Obesity, e12962. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpo.12962

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Weight Bias & Stigma
RUDD AUTHORS:
Rebecca Puhl
Leah Lessard
Retail Soda Purchases Decrease and Water Purchases Increase: 6-Year Results From a Community-Based Beverage Campaign

This study aimed to document the long-term impacts on beverage sales of a 6-year intervention campaign launched in Howard County, Maryland in 2013 to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Results showed the sales of regular soda, fruit drinks, and 100% juice decreased significantly more than predicted each year. Conclusions are substantial and sustained improvements in retail beverage sales can be achieved through coordinated messaging, community organizing, and targeted advocacy for policy changes.

Full citation: Schwartz, M. B., Schneider, G. E., Xu, R., Choi, Y. Y., Atoloye, A. T., Bennett, B. L., … & Appel, L. J. (2022). Retail Soda Purchases Decrease and Water Purchases Increase: 6-Year Results From a Community-Based Beverage Campaign. AJPM Focus, 100008. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.focus.2022.100008

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Sugary Drinks
RUDD AUTHORS:
Marlene Schwartz
Brooke Bennett
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