Rebecca Boulos, MPH, PhD, Senior Research Associate, recently co-authored two peer-reviewed publications related to obesity prevention efforts and variations in impact across income levels. The first article, "The physical activity environment and academic achievement in Massachusetts schoolchildren", was based on a statewide evaluation of school-based physical activity programs in Massachusetts, and was published in the Journal of School Health in collaboration with colleagues from Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Findings suggest that there are beneficial relationships between high-Physical Activity Environments (PAE) and test scores among children in lower-income schools, suggesting that the PAE may be associated with a more supportive environment and may be more fundamentally important for lower-income students.
The second article, "A supermarket double-dollar incentive program increases purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables among low-income families with children: The Healthy Double Study," was based on a grocery retail incentive intervention. This article was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of New England, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, and Hannaford Supermarkets. Findings suggest that financial incentives for purchasing fruit and vegetables are an effective strategy for food assistance programs (e.g., SNAP) to increase healthy purchases and improve dietary intake in low-income families.