PCD News Summary for November 2, 2017
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A Public Health Opportunity Found in Food Waste
From 2013 through 2016, the Brighter Bites program provided free fresh produce to over 12,500 Texas families and helped families develop healthier eating habits. In the United States, consumption of fruits and vegetables is very low. Meanwhile, more than 40 million pounds of produce is wasted annually. Brighter Bites, a school-based food co-operative program, channels primarily donated produce to low-income families and combines it with nutrition education to increase intake of fruits and vegetables and reduce food waste. This study presents the framework of Brighter Bites and the results of three years of implementation in Houston, Texas. The results show that during 2013 through 2016, more than 12,500 families enrolled in Brighter Bites for 16 weeks in the school year. More than 90 percent of the produce was donated. Each week, families received an average 54 to 61 servings of fresh produce at an average cost of $2.53 per family per week. Of those parents who completed the process surveys, more than 80 percent reported the produce to be effective in improving their children’s diet.
Novel Methods and Data Sources for Surveillance of State-Level Diabetes and Prediabetes Prevalence
A novel approach for using nontraditional data sources improves estimates of state-level diabetes and prediabetes prevalence. Using traditional data sources, it has been impossible to achieve accurate estimates of state-level diabetes and prediabetes prevalence that include undiagnosed cases. This paper proposes a method for using various new and nontraditional sources for estimating state-level prevalence. The method makes estimates more representative of state populations and adjusts for nonrandom use of laboratory testing in clinically generated data sets. These enhanced diabetes and prediabetes prevalence estimates can be used to better understand the total burden of diabetes and prediabetes at the state level and to guide policies and programs designed to prevent and control these chronic diseases. These methods can also be adapted and applied to a range of other survey, administrative, or clinical data sets that contain the diabetes laboratory values needed for surveillance of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes at the state or local level.
Pricing Strategies to Encourage Availability, Purchase, and Consumption of Healthy Foods and Beverages: A Systematic Review
Pricing incentives, alone or in combination with other approaches such as nutrition education and point-of-purchase promotion, may be successful in changing consumer behavior. Researchers conducted a systematic review of studies on pricing interventions in real-world settings. The final analysis included 30 distinct studies that focused on how pricing interventions—discounts, coupons, vouchers, and cash rebates—can affect access, purchasing, and consumption of foods, especially healthy foods and beverages. Pricing strategies appeared to positively affect consumer-level behavior, with most studies reporting increases in purchasing and consumption of healthy foods or beverages. Pricing incentives generally increased stocking and sales of promoted foods and beverages as well. Researchers suggest future studies should test pricing incentives in combination with strategies where consumers are “nudged” to purchase healthy foods through prominent displays, food labels, and placement of foods. They also note the need for pricing studies of longer duration to track effects on health outcomes.
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- Page last reviewed: November 2, 2017
- Page last updated: November 2, 2017
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