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The Conceptual Framework for the International Food Policy Study: Evaluating the Population-Level Impact of Food Policy.

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White, Christine M 
Acton, Rachel B 


An unhealthy diet is among the leading global causes of death and disability. Globally, a range of policies are being implemented to support healthy food choices at a population level, including novel polices in the areas of food marketing, nutrition labeling, and taxation of less healthy foods. There is a need to evaluate and inform the implementation of these policies, including their impacts on marginalized population subgroups. The International Food Policy Study (IFPS) consists of repeated cross-sectional surveys conducted in 5 high- and upper-middle-income countries: Australia, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In each country, approximately 4000 adults and 1200 children and youth (aged 10-17) were recruited from a global commercial panel to complete an online survey using consistent measures and methodologies across countries. The first annual IFPS surveys were conducted in 2017 with adults; annual surveys for young people aged 10-17 were launched in 2019 in the same countries, as well as in Chile. The design of the IFPS surveys creates a framework for evaluating "natural experiments" in food policies, including comparisons over time within countries implementing the policy and comparisons with countries in which the policy was not implemented. IFPS surveys have 3 primary areas of focus: 1) knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs associated with specific policies; 2) diet-related behaviors; and 3) dietary intake, including 24-hour dietary recalls for adults in 4 of the 5 countries. Surveys also assess food insecurity, income adequacy, sex and gender, race/ethnicity, and a range of other measures to assess trends among priority subgroups. Overall, the IFPS project has the potential to address important gaps in national monitoring surveys for dietary patterns, and to evaluate the impacts of novel food policies implemented in any of the 5 countries over the study period.



between-country comparisons, dietary intake, food policy, nutrition policy, policy evaluation, quasi-experimental study, Adolescent, Adult, Child, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diet, Female, Food Labeling, Food Preferences, Humans, Male, Nutrition Policy, United States

Journal Title

J Nutr

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Elsevier BV
MRC (MC_UU_00006/7)
This work was supported by a Project Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (PJT-162167) and a PHAC-CIHR Chair in Applied Public Health (DH). JA & MW are supported by the Medical Research Council (grant number MC_UU_00006/7)