Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
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Tatiana Andreyeva, PhD

Tatiana  Andreyeva

Dr. Tatiana (Tania) Andreyeva is Director of Economic Initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University. Before joining the Rudd Center, she worked at RAND Corporation on a variety of health policy issues, including health promotion, retirement behavior, health care systems, obesity, and mental health. Dr. Andreyeva completed her PhD at the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica.

Contact: (203) 432-8432; tatiana.andreyeva@yale.edu

Research Interests

Ongoing USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) Research Projects

Ongoing Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Research Projects

Other Funding Sources

Recently Completed Research Projects

Recent Publications

 

Research Interests

Dr. Andreyeva's current research focuses on the determinants of access to healthy foods in low-income communities and the role of economic incentives in food choices and diet, including food prices and taxation, and the federal assistance and nutrition programs (particularly WIC, SNAP, and CACFP). Dr. Andreyeva's research also examines the effects of food marketing on children's diet and obesity and economic implications of weight stigma in youth.

Ongoing USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) Research Projects

The Economics of Beverage Choices among WIC and SNAP Participants

Goal: To access beverage choices of low-income households

Principal Investigator: Tatiana Andreyeva PhD

Co-Investigators: Kathryn E. Henderson, PhD and Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD

Start Date: October 1, 2011

End Date: September 30, 2012

Summary:

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are a target for reduction in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Concerns have been raised about SSB purchasing with Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Recently, New York City and five states have sought a waiver from the USDA to allow restrictions on the purchasing of certain foods and beverages with SNAP benefits. Data on what SNAP recipients buy with their benefits is limited. It is also unknown if SNAP recipients are aware of and sensitive to the tax relief provided in states that apply a sales tax to SSB purchases, from which SNAP purchases are exempt. Policy changes, such as the recent revisions to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food packages, could shift purchasing patterns from unhealthy foods and beverages. Our project will use 2009-2011 supermarket scanner data to assess beverage-purchasing behaviors among WIC and SNAP recipients in several New England states.

Objectives:

1.      To describe refreshment (i.e., non-alcoholic) beverage purchases among WIC and SNAP recipients and methods of payment used (SNAP benefits, non-SNAP tender).

2.      To draw on a natural experiment of different state sales tax policies to assess their effects on beverage purchasing patterns among SNAP recipients.

3.      To evaluate changes in beverage purchasing behaviors among WIC recipients after the revisions to WIC food packages.

 

WIC Food Package Revisions: Impact on Food Purchases and Access to Healthy Foods

Goal: To access the impact of the WIC food package revisions on WIC customer purchases of major healthy food categories

Principal Investigator: Tatiana Andreyeva, PhD

Co-Investigators: Kathryn E. Henderson, PhD and Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD

Start Date: October 1, 2010

End Date: March 31, 2012

Summary:

For many American families, limited access to healthy foods is a barrier to improving diet and health. Federal food assistance programs are one potential strategy to expand access to better nutrition in underserved communities. Recent revisions to the WIC food packages were designed to increase the provision of healthy foods to low-income women, infants, and children. Our project evaluates the impacts of this policy change on access to healthy foods and purchasing behavior among WIC participants. Using scanner data from a major supermarket chain in two states, we compare WIC customer purchases before and after the revisions (2009-2011). To understand trends in food market factors and see if anticipated positive policy effects on access to healthy foods remain consistent over time, we conduct store inventories in a representative sample of food retailers 18 to 20 months after the revisions. Finally, we explore trends in market factors for any differential impacts of the policy change.

Objectives

1.      To assess the impact of the WIC food package revisions on WIC customer purchases of major WIC food categories (fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lower-fat milk).

2.      To describe the use of cash fruit and vegetable vouchers, including number of servings of fruit and vegetables per voucher and per serving costs.

3.      To assess the food environment through store inventories and identify changes in availability, variety, and prices of WIC foods compared to the pre-revision and first-year post-reform assessment.

4.      To identify factors that modify the impact of the WIC revisions.

 

Ongoing Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Research Projects

Healthy Eating Research (Round 3): Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Improving nutrition in childcare settings in the context of food insecurity

Goal: To assess the feasibility and impact of childcare nutrition policies to decrease excess caloric consumption in the context of food insecurity.

Principal Investigator: Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD

Co- Investigator: Tatiana Andreyeva, PhD

Start Date: 2009

End Date: 2011

 

Food Marketing in Youth

Goal: To identify issues of food marketing to children and propose strategies for decreasing its impact.

Principal Investigator: Kelly D. Brownell, PhD

Co- Investigator: Tatiana Andreyeva, PhD

Start Date: 2008

End Date: 2013

 

Other Funding Sources

Rudd Foundation: Center for Food Policy and Obesity

Goal: Conduct multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on national and global issues related to diet, nutrition, food and obesity.

Principal Investigator: Kelly D. Brownell, PhD

Director of Economic Initiatives: Tatiana Andreyeva, PhD

 

Recently Completed Research Projects

USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) Research Grant

Access to Healthy Foods: The role of market competition, WIC Policy and Food Vendor Attitudes.

Goal: To evaluate the effect of changes in WIC food packages on access to healthy foods in low-income communities.

Principal Investigator: Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD

Co- Investigator: Tatiana Andreyeva, PhD

Start Date: 2008

End Date: 2011

Summary:

This study examined how the 2009 WIC food package revisions, market factors, and food vendor attitudes influenced access to affordable healthy foods for economically disadvantaged families. Data were collected from 252 stores in five Connecticut cities and towns to examine the store and market level determinants of the retail food landscape. The study assessed how the availability, variety, quality, pricing of healthy foods, and the purchasing power of food assistance benefits were influenced by store type, market competition among local food retailers, local fast food outlets, and town socio-demographic characteristics were influenced by the 2009 WIC food packages revision. Data collection lasted for two years and took place before and after the WIC package revisions to identify changes in the availability and pricing of healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods. Food vendor surveys were conducted to relate the beliefs and attitudes of food vendors about healthy foods and participation in the food assistance programs with the provision of healthy foods. Finally, administrative data was used to monitor changes in the number, type, and location of WIC-authorized vendors throughout the state of Connecticut following the WIC reform. 

A report from this project: http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/48404/1/CAT31079664.pdf

 

Healthy Eating Research (Round 2): Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Documenting the range and quality of existing preschool food policies in Connecticut

Goal: Study nutrition policies and practices in Connecticut preschools

Principal Investigator: Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD

Investigator: Tatiana Andreyeva, PhD

Start Date: 2007

Completion Date: 2010

 

In the News

How America's Weight Problem Is Costing the Workforce
Article highlights amount of money lost annually due to obesity related workplace productivity losses
Yahoo Health, November 2014

Dollars To Pounds: Boosting Purchasing Powers To Lower Obesity Rates
Article discusses Dr. Andreyeva's investigations into health effects of adjustments to SNAP program
Uconn Today, September 2014

Parents of Preschoolers buying Less Soda, Milk and Juice
Reuters, August 2014

Food Stamp Soda Study Says Ban Would Reduce Diabetes, Obesity
RWJF-funded study finds that restricting ssbs from food stamps benefits would reduce obesity and diabetes in adults and children
Newsmax, June 2014

Families on Food Asistance are Purchasing More Fruits and Vegetables
Study shows families in WIC programs are purchasing more fruits and vegetables after updated nutrition guidelines
Bloomberg Businessweek, May 2014

Publications

Andreyeva T, Luedicke J, Wang C. State-Level Estimates of Obesity-Attributable Costs of Absenteeism. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 2014 Nov;56(11):1120-1127.

Andreyeva T, Luedicke J. Incentivizing fruit and vegetable purchases among participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants,and Children. Public Health Nutrition. 2014 May:1-9.

Andreyeva T, Luedicke J. Federal food package revisions: Effects on purchases of whole-grain products. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013 Oct;45(4):422-429.

Andreyeva T, Luedicke J, Tripp AS, Henderson KE. Effects of reduced juice allowances in food packages for the Women, Infants, and Children Program. Pediatrics. 2013 Apr;131(5):919-927.

Andreyeva T, Luedicke J, Henderson KE, Tripp AS. Grocery store beverage choices by participants in federal food assistance and nutrition programs. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2012 Oct;43(4):411-418.

Andreyeva T, Luedicke J, Middleton AE, Long MW, Schwartz MB. Positive influence of the revised Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children food packages on access to healthy foods. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012 Jun;112(6):850-858.

Andreyeva T, Middleton AE, Long MW, Luedicke J, Schwartz MB. Food retailer practices, attitudes and beliefs about the supply of healthy foods. Public Health Nutrition. 2011 Jun;14(6):1024-1031.

Andreyeva T, Chaloupka FJ, Brownell KD. Estimating the potential of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce consumption and generate revenue. Preventive Medicine. 2011 Jun;52(6):413-416.

Andreyeva T, Kelly IR, Harris JL. Exposure to food advertising on television: Associations with children’s fast food and soft drink consumption and obesity. Economics and Human Biology. 2011 Mar.

Andreyeva T, Long MW, Henderson KE, Grode GM. Trying to lose weight: Diet strategies among Americans with overweight or obesity in 1996 and 2003. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010 Apr;110(4):535-542.

Podcasts

Economics and Obesity
Host: Kelly Brownell, Guest(s): Tatiana Andreyeva
Director of Economic Initiatives
7/18/13


Press Releases

11/14/14: Obesity among American workers costs the nations billions in lost productivity
Obesity is associated with significant increases in absenteeism among American workers and costs the nation over $8 billion per year in lost productivity, according to a study recently published by Yale’s Rudd Center researchers. The study suggests that the health consequences of obesity negatively impact the workforce, and in turn create a significant financial challenge for the nation as well as individual states. The authors assert that policy solutions are needed to reduce these costs.

5/14/14: Families on food assistance are purchasing more fruits and vegetables
Efforts to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables among women and young children receiving food assistance are paying off, according to a study by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. The study is published in Public Health Nutrition.

1/21/14: Updated online tool offers estimates of revenue from taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages
A federal excise tax of a penny-per-ounce on sugar-sweetened beverages would generate over thirteen billion dollars in revenue per year, according to an estimate derived by researchers at the Rudd Center. In collaboration with researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers at the Rudd Center have updated the Center’s Revenue Calculator for Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes, an online tool which offers estimates of revenue from taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages.

11/7/13: Families on food assistance buying fewer full-fat dairy products
Efforts to reduce consumption of saturated fat among women and young children receiving food assistance appear to be paying off, according to a study by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.

9/18/13: People who get food assistance are eating more whole-grain products
Efforts to encourage healthy consumption of whole grains by people receiving federal food assistance are paying off, according to a study by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.