Jennifer Pomeranz

Jennifer L. Pomeranz
Jennifer L Pomeranz
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Associate Professor of Public Health Policy and Management

Professional overview

Professor Jennifer Pomeranz is a public health lawyer who researches policy and legal options to address the food environment, obesity, products that cause public harm, and social injustice that lead to health disparities.

Prior to joining the NYU faculty, Professor Pomeranz was an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health at Temple University and in the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple. She was previously the Director of Legal Initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. She has also authored numerous peer-reviewed and law review journal articles and a book, Food Law for Public Health, published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

Professor Pomeranz leads the Public Health Policy Research Lab and regularly teaches Public Health Law and Food Policy for Public Health.

"Policy is so important because it is the most effective way to influence public health. I got into public health to change the world -- to improve health and address inequities.”

Education

BA, History, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
JD, Juris Doctorate, Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY
MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA

Areas of research and study

Diet-related disease
Products that cause harm
Public Health Law
Public Health Policy
Social injustices that create health disparities

Publications

Publications

Beyond Laws: Governors’ Roles in Shaping State Firearm Environments, 2020–2022

Silver, D., Pomeranz, J. L., Holm, J., & Doki, M. (n.d.).

Publication year

2024

Journal title

American journal of preventive medicine

Volume

66

Issue

4

Page(s)

744-749

The Entrenched Erosion of Meaningful Participation in US Elections

Pomeranz, J. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2024

Journal title

American journal of public health

Volume

114

Issue

3

Page(s)

294-296

Availability of calorie information on online menus from chain restaurants in the USA: current prevalence and legal landscape

Greenthal, E., Sorscher, S., Pomeranz, J. L., & Cash, S. B. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

Public Health Nutrition

Volume

26

Issue

12

Page(s)

3239-3246
Abstract
Abstract
Objective: Federal law requires calorie information on chain restaurant menus. We sought to assess the prevalence of calorie disclosures on online menus and determine if the menus are controlled by restaurants subject to US labelling requirements. Design: Cross-sectional Setting: Restaurant websites and mobile apps for restaurant located in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston Participants: US chain restaurants (top seventy-five by number of outlets) and third-party platforms (TPP): Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash Results: There was at least one calorie disclosure (for at least one food or beverage, in at least one location) on sixty-eight of seventy-two (94 %) menus on restaurant websites or apps, thirty-two of fifty-five (58 %) menus on DoorDash, six of forty-nine (12 %) menus on Grubhub and thirty of fifty-nine (51 %) menus on Uber Eats. There was consistent calorie labelling (all foods and beverages, all locations) on forty-three of seventy-two (60 %) menus on restaurant websites or apps, fifteen of fifty-five (27 %) menus on DoorDash, three of forty-nine (6 %) menus on Grubhub and eleven of fifty-nine (19 %) menus on Uber Eats. Only four restaurant chains consistently labelled calories for all items, in all locations, on all platforms where their menus were found. All three TPP provided restaurants the ability to enter and modify menu items, making the menus subject to US labelling requirements. Only Uber Eats provided guidance to restaurants on entering calorie information. Conclusions: As consumers increasingly rely on TPP for restaurant ordering, menus on these platforms should include calories in order to promote transparency and nutrition.

Breastmilk or infant formula? Content analysis of infant feeding advice on breastmilk substitute manufacturer websites

Pomeranz, J. L., Chu, X., Groza, O., Cohodes, M., & Harris, J. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

Public Health Nutrition

Volume

26

Issue

5

Page(s)

934-942
Abstract
Abstract
Objective: To evaluate messages about infant feeding on breastmilk substitute (BMS) manufacturer websites directed at US caregivers and compare information and portrayals of breast-feeding/breastmilk with that of infant formula (IF) feeding. Design: We conducted a content analysis of US BMS companies' websites. A codebook was created through an iterative process to identify messages and images about breast-feeding/breastmilk and IF feeding, including benefits or issues associated with each, and direct-to-consumer marketing practices that could discourage breast-feeding. Setting: Data were collected in 2019-2020 and analysed in 2020-2021 for US websites of five IF manufacturers. Participants: The websites of Similac, Enfamil and Gerber, which collectively represent approximately 98 % of the US IF market, and two US organic brands, Earth's Best and Happy Baby. Results: Websites contained more messages about breast-feeding/breastmilk than IF but were significantly more likely to mention benefits to baby of IF (44 %) than breast-feeding/breastmilk (<26 %), including significantly more statements that IF provides brain, neural and gastrointestinal benefits; 40 % of breast-feeding/breastmilk content was dedicated to breast-feeding problems (e.g. sore nipples). Twice as many screenshots compared IF brands favourably to breastmilk than as superior to other brands. Certain companies displayed images indicating ease of IF feeding and difficulty of breast-feeding. Conclusions: Substantial messaging on BMS manufacturer websites encouraged IF feeding and discouraged breast-feeding. Health professionals should discourage their patients from visiting these websites and the US government should regulate misleading claims. Companies should refrain from providing breast-feeding advice and align their US marketing with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

Effects of a front-of-package disclosure on accuracy in assessing children's drink ingredients: Two randomised controlled experiments with US caregivers of young children

Fleming-Milici, F., Gershman, H., Pomeranz, J., & Harris, J. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

Public Health Nutrition

Volume

26

Issue

12

Page(s)

2790-2801
Abstract
Abstract
Objective: Test effects of a standardised front-of-package (FOP) disclosure statement (indicating added sugar, non-nutritive sweetener (NNS) and juice content) on accuracy in assessing ingredients and perceived healthfulness of children's drinks. Design: In two randomised controlled experiments, the same participants viewed drink packages and indicated if products contained added sugar or NNS and percent juice and rated drink healthfulness. Experiment 1 (E1) included novel (non-US) children's drinks with a) product claims only (control), b) claims and disclosure, or c) disclosure only. Experiment 2 (E2) included existing children's drinks (with claims) with a) no disclosure (control) or b) disclosure. Both experiments evaluated sweetened (fruit drink and flavoured water) and unsweetened (100 % juice and juice/water blend) drinks. Potential individual differences (education level and race/ethnicity) in effects were explored. Setting: Online survey Participants: Six hundred and forty-eight US caregivers of young children (1-5 years) Results: FOP disclosures significantly increased accuracy for most ingredients and drink types, including identifying presence or absence of NNS in sweetened drinks, no added sugar in juice/water blends, and actual percent juice in fruit drinks and juice/water blends in both experiments. Disclosures also increased recognition that the novel 100 % juice and juice/water blend did not contain NNS or added sugar (E1) and existing sweetened drinks contained added sugar (E2). Disclosures reduced perceived healthfulness of sweetened drinks but did not increase unsweetened drink healthfulness ratings. Some differences by participant socio-demographic characteristics require additional research. Conclusions: FOP disclosures on children's drink packages can increase caregivers' understanding of product ingredients and aid in selecting healthier children's drinks.

Expanded policy rationales support sugar-sweetened beverage taxes

Pomeranz, J. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

Nature Food

Volume

4

Issue

11

Page(s)

931-932

Firearm Laws Enacted by Municipalities in 6 States With Diverse Policy Frameworks

Pomeranz, J. L., Silver, D., Lieff, S. A., & McNeill, E. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

American journal of preventive medicine

Volume

64

Issue

5

Page(s)

642-649
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction: Firearm violence is a public health crisis. Municipalities are frequently prevented from adopting firearm-related laws because of state preemption―when the state limits local authority to enact laws on a specific topic. Yet, it is unknown the extent to which municipalities enact firearm-related laws under varying preemption regimes, the content of such laws, and how municipal laws relate to the state's firearm-policy framework. Methods: A purposeful sample of 6 states with diverse preemption laws were chosen; 3 with robust preemption: South Carolina, Maryland, and Arizona; 1 with moderate preemption: Nebraska; and 2 without preemption: Connecticut and New York. Using Lexis+, municipal codes as of December 31, 2020 were identified, and the policy topics were evaluated and compared with the state's policy framework. Counties representing the municipalities identified were characterized using public use data. Results: In total, 613 municipal policies were identified, covering 56 topics. The number of policy topics enacted by at least 1 municipality in the state included 18 for Arizona, 21 for Connecticut, 24 for Maryland, 25 for Nebraska, 40 for New York, and 28 for South Carolina. The most common policy identified was restricting public discharge in community-centered locations. Local laws in preemption states replicated state requirements or were consistent with savings clauses expressly allowing local action. New York City, a municipality in a state without preemption, enacted laws covering the most policy topics of the municipalities identified. Conclusions: When not constrained by state preemption, local lawmakers actively passed firearm-related legislation. Many such laws are specific to local contexts and may reflect local lawmakers’ responsiveness to constituent concerns.

Forced Birth and No Time off Work: Abortion Access and Paid Family Leave Policies

Schnake-Mahl, A. S., Pomeranz, J. L., Sun, N., Headen, I., O’Leary, G., & Jahn, J. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

American journal of preventive medicine

Volume

65

Issue

4

Page(s)

755-759

Is that Hospital Food Pantry an Illegal Patient Inducement? Analysis of Health Care Fraud Laws as Barriers to Food and Nutrition Security Interventions

Landauer, R., Seligman, H., Pomeranz, J. L., Hager, K., & Mozaffarian, D. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics

Volume

51

Issue

4

Page(s)

889-899
Abstract
Abstract
The complex regulatory framework governing the U.S. health care system can be an obstacle to programming that address health-related social needs. In particular, health care fraud and abuse law is a pernicious barrier as health care organizations may minimize or forego programming altogether out of real and perceived concern for compliance. And because health care organizations have varying resources to navigate and resolve compliance concerns, as well as different levels of risk tolerance, fears related to the legal landscape may further entrench inequities in access to meaningful programs that improve health outcomes. This article uses food and nutrition programming as a case study to explore the complexities presented by this area of law and to highlight pathways forward.

Policy Opportunities and Legal Considerations to Reform SNAP-Authorized Food Retail Environments

Pomeranz, J. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice

Volume

29

Issue

5

Page(s)

614-621
Abstract
Abstract
Context: There is an invigorated national interest in nutrition security, with emphasis on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) playing a key role. Objective: To support healthy food purchasing, several strategies have emerged to modify the food retail environment. However, the legal feasibility of several such policy options has not been established. Design: Research was conducted using Lexis+ to evaluate statutes, regulations, and case law to determine the legal feasibility of requiring retail-based SNAP signage and nutrition disclosures, healthy endcaps and checkout aisles, and tying advertising restrictions to the licensing of SNAP retailers. Setting: US in-store and online food retail retailers. Main Outcome Measure: Legal feasibility. Results: Requiring retailers that designate certain foods or locations as SNAP-eligible to consistently do so in all SNAP-eligible pages/locations is likely feasible. If properly drafted to focus on the nutritional quality of food, healthy checkout and endcap restrictions are legally feasible. It is of unclear legal feasibility to require retailers (especially in-store) to disclose nutrition-related labeling, shelf tags, or nonfactual symbols indicating the relative healthfulness of products. Restricting or banning advertising is not legally feasible even if the government ties the restrictions to retail licensing requirements. Conclusions: Entities seeking to support healthy food retail should not seek to restrict advertising or compel retailers to convey messages against their interests. The government can license retailers and require them to abide by laws and other requirements that do not violate their constitutional rights. The government can also use its own speech through public service announcements, billboards, and transit advertising to encourage healthy food consumption for all shoppers including those who use SNAP. Additional research is warranted into online retail practices to evaluate variations in online checkout pages and to determine whether online retailers treat SNAP participants differently from non-SNAP participants.

Public Health Law in Practice

Pomeranz, J. L., Merrill, T. G., & Schroth, K. R. (n.d.). (1–).

Publication year

2023
Abstract
Abstract
This book is a public health law textbook specifically for U.S. public health practitioners, advocates and students at the undergraduate, master, and doctoral level. It is the only public health law textbook for a public health audience that includes case law and provides practical information on the practice of public health. This book provides necessary background into law as it relates to the practice of public health, including the government’s authority to promote public health through policies and programs, and limitations on the government’s authority to protect public health. The book also addresses specific topics of deep interest and concern to public health readers and provides information on the mechanics of public health policymaking.

The Diffusion of Punitive Firearm Preemption Laws Across U.S. States

Macinko, J., Silver, D., Clark, D. A., & Pomeranz, J. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

American journal of preventive medicine

Volume

65

Issue

4

Page(s)

649-656
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction: Firearm violence is a public health crisis. Most states prohibit local firearm laws, but some states have laws that allow for lawsuits and other penalties against local governments and lawmakers who pass firearm laws deemed preempted. These punitive firearm preemptive laws may reduce firearm policy innovation, discussion, and adoption beyond preemption alone. Yet, it is unknown how these laws spread from state to state. Methods: In 2022, using an event history analysis framework with state dyads, logistic regression models estimate the factors associated with adoption and diffusion of firearm punitive preemption laws, including state-level demographic, economic, legal, political, population, and state-neighbor factors. Results: As of 2021, 15 states had punitive firearm preemption laws. Higher numbers of background checks (AOR=1.50; 95% CI=1.15, 2.04), more conservative government ideology (AOR=7.79; 95% CI=2.05, 35.02), lower per capita income (AOR=0.16; 95% CI=0.05, 0.44), a higher number of permissive state firearm laws (AOR=2.75; 95% CI=1.57, 5.30), and neighboring state passage of the law (AOR=3.97; 95% CI=1.52, 11.51) were associated with law adoption. Conclusions: Both internal and external state factors predict the adoption of punitive firearm preemption. This study may provide insight into which states are susceptible to adoption in the future. Advocates, especially in neighboring states without such laws, may want to focus their firearm safety policy efforts on opposing the passage of punitive firearm preemption.

The Health and Economic Impact of Using a Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax to Fund Fruit and Vegetable Subsidies in New York City: A Modeling Study

Lou, Z., Yi, S. S., Pomeranz, J., Suss, R., Russo, R., Rummo, P. E., Eom, H., Liu, J., Zhang, Y., Moran, A. E., Bellows, B. K., Kong, N., & Li, Y. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

Journal of Urban Health

Volume

100

Issue

1

Page(s)

51-62
Abstract
Abstract
Low fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and high sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption are independently associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Many people in New York City (NYC) have low FV intake and high SSB consumption, partly due to high cost of fresh FVs and low cost of and easy access to SSBs. A potential implementation of an SSB tax and an FV subsidy program could result in substantial public health and economic benefits. We used a validated microsimulation model for predicting CVD events to estimate the health impact and cost-effectiveness of SSB taxes, FV subsidies, and funding FV subsidies with an SSB tax in NYC. Population demographics and health profiles were estimated using data from the NYC Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Policy effects and price elasticity were derived from recent meta-analyses. We found that funding FV subsidies with an SSB tax was projected to be the most cost-effective policy from the healthcare sector perspective. From the societal perspective, the most cost-effective policy was SSB taxes. All policy scenarios could prevent more CVD events and save more healthcare costs among men compared to women, and among Black vs. White adults. Public health practitioners and policymakers may want to consider adopting this combination of policy actions, while weighing feasibility considerations and other unintended consequences.

U.S. Policies Addressing Ultraprocessed Foods, 1980–2022

Pomeranz, J. L., Mande, J. R., & Mozaffarian, D. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

American journal of preventive medicine

Volume

65

Issue

6

Page(s)

1134-1141
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction: Ultraprocessed foods are industrial formulations manufactured from substances derived from foods and industrially-produced ingredients and additives. Few countries’ policies directly regulate ultraprocessed food, but several countries’ dietary guidelines suggest eating less ultraprocessed food. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans do not mention the ultraprocessed food category, but the 2025–2030 Advisory Committee is tasked with evaluating research related to ultraprocessed food consumption. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans are used for U.S. food and nutrition policies. It is unknown the extent that federal and state policymakers have already proposed or passed policies addressing ultraprocessed foods. Methods: Research was conducted using Lexis+ into federal and state statutes, bills, resolutions, regulations, and proposed rules, and Congressional Research Services reports to identify policymaking related to highly processed and ultraprocessed food from January 1980 through February 2023. Results: This research identified 25 policy actions (8 federal, 17 state) proposed or passed between 1983 and 2022 (22 of them, 2011–2022). The most common topic area related to children's nutrition (n=14), and a prevalent theme related to food prices. Only 1 policy defined ultraprocessed food, and 3 policies sought to address the broader food environment by providing incentives to small retailers to stock healthy foods. Conclusions: Addressing ultraprocessed food in U.S. policy activity is quite recent, with few policies directly targeting ultraprocessed foods but rather discussing them as contrary to healthy diets. Internationally, ultraprocessed foods have been directly integrated into national dietary guidelines and school food programs. These policies are consistent with emerging U.S. policy activity and may provide information for future policymaking in the U.S.

US Policies That Define Foods for Junk Food Taxes, 1991–2021

Pomeranz, J. L., Cash, S. B., & Mozaffarian, D. (n.d.).

Publication year

2023

Journal title

Milbank Quarterly

Volume

101

Issue

2

Page(s)

560-600
Abstract
Abstract
Policy Points Suboptimal diet is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States. Excise taxes on junk food are not widely utilized in the United States. The development of a workable definition of the food to be taxed is a substantial barrier to implementation. Three decades of legislative and regulatory definitions of food for taxes and related purposes provide insight into methods to characterize food to advance new policies. Defining policies through Product Categories combined with Nutrients or Processing may be a method to identify foods for health-related goals. Context: Suboptimal diet is a substantial contributor to weight gain, cardiometabolic diseases, and certain cancers. Junk food taxes can raise the price of the taxed product to reduce consumption and the revenue can be used to invest in low-resource communities. Taxes on junk food are administratively and legally feasible but no definition of “junk food” has been established. Methods: To identify legislative and regulatory definitions characterizing food for tax and other related purposes, this research used Lexis+ and the NOURISHING policy database to identify federal, state, territorial, and Washington DC statutes, regulations, and bills (collectively denoted as “policies”) defining and characterizing food for tax and related policies, 1991–2021. Findings: This research identified and evaluated 47 unique laws and bills that defined food through one or more of the following criteria: Product Category (20 definitions), Processing (4 definitions), Product intertwined with Processing (19 definitions), Place (12 definitions), Nutrients (9 definitions), and Serving Size (7 definitions). Of the 47 policies, 26 used more than one criterion to define food categories, especially those with nutrition-related goals. Policy goals included taxing foods (snack, healthy, unhealthy, or processed foods), exempting foods from taxation (snack, healthy, unhealthy, or unprocessed foods), exempting homemade or farm-made foods from state and local retail regulations, and supporting federal nutrition assistance objectives. Policies based on Product Categories alone differentiated between necessity/staple foods on the one hand and nonnecessity/nonstaple foods on the other. Conclusions: In order to specifically identify unhealthy food, policies commonly included a combination of Product Category, Processing, and/or Nutrient criteria. Explanations for repealed state sales tax laws on snack foods identified retailers’ difficulty pinpointing which specific foods were subject to the tax as a barrier to implementation. An excise tax assessed on manufacturers or distributors of junk food is a method to overcome this barrier and may be warranted.

Federal Paid Sick Leave Is Needed to Support Prevention and Public Health and Address Inequities

Pomeranz, J. L., Pagán, J. A., & Silver, D. (n.d.). In American journal of preventive medicine (1–).

Publication year

2022

Volume

63

Issue

2

Page(s)

e75

Food and Beverage Product Appearances in Educational, Child-Targeted YouTube Videos

Tsai, K. A., Pan, P., Liang, C., Stent-Torriani, A., Prat, L., Cassidy, O., Pomeranz, J. L., & Bragg, M. A. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Childhood Obesity

Volume

18

Issue

8

Page(s)

515-522
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Food advertisement exposure is associated with children's increased caloric intake, but little is known about food/beverage placements in child-oriented educational YouTube videos. We aimed to quantify the prevalence of food/beverages in these videos and assess their nutritional quality. Methods: Researchers identified child-oriented educational YouTube videos from 2020, using keyword searches. We coded the names of featured food/beverages, coded how the food/beverages were interacted with, quantified the number of minutes the food/beverages appeared, and assessed the nutritional quality of the food/beverages. Results: A sample of 400 videos with the highest number of views was identified, 165 of which featured food/beverages. These 165 videos were collectively viewed over 1.1 billion times. Among these videos, 108 (67.4%) featured unhealthy foods and 86 (52.1%) featured branded products. Most food/beverages were used in experiment/tutorials (n = 143, 86.7%). Of the 165 videos featuring food/beverages, 91 (55.2%) did not depict food/beverages in their video thumbnail. Conclusions: While unhealthy food/beverages appear frequently in child-oriented educational YouTube videos, parents and teachers may not be aware of the presence of branded food/beverage products in these videos that could influence their children's food and brand preferences. The Federal Trade Commission should collect data on food and beverage company sponsorship of educational videos aimed at children and adolescents.

Food Marketing to - And Research on - Children: New Directions for Regulation in the United States

Pomeranz, J. L., & Mozaffarian, D. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics

Volume

50

Issue

3

Page(s)

542-550
Abstract
Abstract
As countries around the world work to restrict unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children, the U.S. remains reliant on industry-self regulation. The First Amendment's protection for commercial speech and previous gutting of the Federal Trade Commission's authority pose barriers to restricting food marketing to children. However, false, unfair, and deceptive acts and practices remain subject to regulation and provide an avenue to address marketing to young children, modern practices that have evaded regulation, and gaps in the food and beverage industry's self-regulatory approach.

Opportunities to address the failure of online food retailers to ensure access to required food labelling information in the USA

Pomeranz, J. L., Cash, S. B., Springer, M., Del Giudice, I. M., & Mozaffarian, D. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Public Health Nutrition

Volume

25

Issue

5

Page(s)

1375-1383
Abstract
Abstract
Objective: The rapid growth in web-based grocery food purchasing has outpaced federal regulatory attention to the online provision of nutrition and allergen information historically required on food product labels. We sought to characterise the extent and variability that online retailers disclose required and regulated information and identify the legal authorities for the federal government to require online food retailers to disclose such information. Design: We performed a limited scan of ten products across nine national online retailers and conducted legal research using LexisNexis to analyse federal regulatory agencies' authorities. Setting: USA. Participants: N/A. Results: The scan of products revealed that required information (Nutrition Facts Panels, ingredient lists, common food allergens and per cent juice for fruit drinks) was present, conspicuous and legible for an average of only 36·5 % of the products surveyed, ranging from 11·4 % for potential allergens to 54·2 % for ingredients lists. More commonly, voluntary nutrition-related claims were prominently and conspicuously displayed (63·5 % across retailers and products). Our legal examination found that the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission and United States Department of Agriculture have existing regulatory authority over labelling, online sales and advertising, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme retailers that can be utilised to address deficiencies in the provision of required information in the online food retail environment. Conclusions: Information regularly provided to consumers in conventional settings is not being uniformly provided online. Congress or the federal agencies can require online food retailers disclose required nutrition and allergen information to support health, nutrition, equity and informed consumer decision-making.

State Paid Sick Leave and Paid Sick-Leave Preemption Laws Across 50 U.S. States, 2009–2020

Pomeranz, J. L., Silver, D., Lieff, S. A., & Pagán, J. A. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

American journal of preventive medicine

Volume

62

Issue

5

Page(s)

688-695
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction: Paid sick leave is associated with lower mortality risks and increased use of health services. Yet, the U.S. lacks a national law, and not all employers offer paid leave, especially to low-wage workers. States have enacted paid sick-leave laws or preemption laws that prohibit local governments from enacting paid sick-leave requirements. Methods: In 2019 and 2021, state paid sick-leave laws and preemption laws in effect in 2009–2020 were retrieved from Lexis+, coded, and analyzed for coverage and other features. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis were used to estimate the jobs covered by state paid sick-leave laws in 2009–2019. Results: In 2009, no state had a paid sick-leave law, and 1 state had preemption. By 2020, a total of 12 states had paid sick-leave laws, with a form of preemption (n=9) or no preemption (n=3), and 18 additional states solely preempted local laws without requiring coverage, creating a regulatory vacuum in those states. Although all state paid sick-leave laws covered private employers and required care for children and spouses, some laws exempted small or public employers or did not cover additional family members. The percentage of U.S. jobs covered by state-required paid sick leave grew from 0% in 2009 to 27.6% in 2019. Conclusions: Variation in state paid sick-leave laws, preemption, and lack of employer provision of paid sick leave to low-wage workers creates substantial inequities nationally. The federal government should enact a national paid sick-leave law.

State Preemption of Consumer Merchandise and Beverage Containers: New Strategy to Preempt Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Policies?

Pomeranz, J. L., & Mozaffarian, D. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice

Volume

28

Issue

3

Page(s)

222-232
Abstract
Abstract
State legislators passed laws preempting, or prohibiting, local governments from regulating beverage containers. Although the primary purpose of these laws may be to ban local environmental regulations addressing single-use plastics, it is unknown the extent they also preempt public health policies aimed at reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. In 2021, using LexisNexis, we assessed state legislation preempting local control over consumer merchandise and containers. We identified 8 laws (and 16 failed bills) with broad language preempting local regulation of the sale, use, or marketing of multiple container types, including beverage containers. Most legislative activity occurred during 2016-2021, with legislative intent to avoid a "patchwork" of local laws, avoid burdening retailers, and have a "refreshing drink." Local policy control was characterized as "personal choice." Broad preemption language may stifle local policy making aimed at reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and preempt public health policies such as restricting portion size, in-store promotion and display, and labeling measures.

The Impact of Toddler Milk Claims on Beliefs and Misperceptions: A Randomized Experiment with Parents of Young Children

Richter, A. P. C., Duffy, E. W., Smith Taillie, L., Harris, J. L., Pomeranz, J. L., & Hall, M. G. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Volume

122

Issue

3

Page(s)

533-540.e3
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Toddler milk (ie, a nutrient-fortified milk-based drink marketed for children aged 12 to 36 months) has been marketed increasingly in the United States with structure/function claims on product packaging that are potentially misleading. Objective: This study examined how structure/function claims impact parents’ beliefs and perceptions about a toddler milk product. Design: This was a 3-arm between-subjects randomized experiment. Participants: A diverse sample of 2,190 US parents of children aged 1 to 5 years were chosen to take an online survey. Intervention: Participants were randomly assigned to view a toddler milk package with either an unrelated claim (“new and improved,” ie, control condition), a “brain development” claim (ie, “brain” claim), or an “immunity-related” claim (ie, “immunity” claim). Main outcome measures: Outcomes included perceptions, intentions, and beliefs about the toddler milk product. Statistical analyses performed: Linear regression for continuous outcomes and logistic regression for dichotomous outcomes. Results: Parents who were exposed to the “brain” claim or the “immunity” claim were more likely to incorrectly believe that the toddler milk was as healthy or healthier than cow's milk compared with those who saw the control claim (89% for brain claim, 87% for immunity claim, and 79% for control; P <.001 for both comparisons). Parents exposed to either the brain or immunity claim had higher intentions to give the toddler milk to their child, higher perceived product healthfulness, and stronger beliefs that pediatricians would recommend the product compared with parents exposed to the control (all, P <.001). Conclusions: These findings suggest that structure/function claims on toddler milk packaging may mislead parents and increase the appeal of toddler milk. Our findings support calls for public health policies to regulate marketing on toddler milk packaging.

United States: Protecting Commercial Speech under the First Amendment

Pomeranz, J. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics

Volume

50

Issue

2

Page(s)

265-275
Abstract
Abstract
The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects commercial speech from government interference. Commercial speech has been defined by the US Supreme Court as speech that proposes a commercial transaction, such as marketing and labeling. Companies that produce products associated with public health harms, such as alcohol, tobacco, and food, thus have a constitutional right to market these products to consumers. This article will examine the evolution of US law related to the protection of commercial speech, often at the expense of public health. It will then identify outstanding questions related to the commercial speech doctrine and the few remaining avenues available in the United States to regulate commercial speech including the use of government speech and addressing deceptive and misleading commercial speech.

Whole-grain food intake among US adults, based on different definitions of whole-grain foods, NHANES 2003–2018

Du, M., Mozaffarian, D., Wong, J. B., Pomeranz, J. L., Wilde, P., & Zhang, F. F. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Volume

116

Issue

6

Page(s)

1704-1714
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Whole-grain (WG) foods are defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), FDA, AHA, American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI), and Whole Grains Council (WGC) in different ways with diverse focuses on grain components only, whole foods, or nutrient contents. Objectives: We aimed to compare estimated WG food intake among US adults using different definitions. Methods: For each definition, we estimated the mean intake and trends of WG food consumption using survey-weighted 24-h dietary recalls from nationally representative samples of 39,755 US adults aged 20+ y from 8 cycles (2003–2018) of the NHANES. This is an observational study that used deidentified and publicly available datasets. Results: The estimated mean consumption of WG foods (ounces equivalents/2000 kcal/d, oz. eq./d) varied by definition. In 2017–2018, the AHA (mean [SEM]: 1.05 [0.07] oz. eq./d) and WGC (0.95 [0.07]) definitions yielded the highest amounts, followed by the DGA (0.81 [0.06]), AACCI (0.73 [0.05]), and FDA (0.53 [0.04]). Using all definitions except for WGC, US adults increased WG food intake from 2003–2004 to 2017–2018 with the largest increase (61.5%) using the AHA (from 0.65 to 1.05 oz. eq./d), followed by DGA (0.50 to 0.81) and AACCI (0.51 to 0.73) definitions. For each definition, the main sources of WG foods consumed by US adults were ready-to-eat cereals, cooked grains and cereals, and breads (including rolls and tortillas). For all definitions except the AHA, non-Hispanic White adults and individuals with college degrees or above consumed higher levels of WG foods than non-Hispanic Blacks and those with lower levels of education. Conclusions: Different definitions affect the determination of WG foods, estimated intakes, and associated trends in WG food consumption among US adults. These findings call for a standardized definition of WG foods to guide consumers, industry, and policymakers in promoting WG intake in the US. Clinical Trial Registration: Not Applicable.

Effect of reducing ultraprocessed food consumption on obesity among US children and adolescents aged 7-18 years: Evidence from a simulation model

Livingston, A. S., Cudhea, F., Wang, L., Steele, E. M., Du, M., Wang, Y. C., Pomeranz, J., Mozaffarian, D., & Zhang, F. F. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health

Volume

4

Issue

2

Page(s)

397-404
Abstract
Abstract
Background Children and adolescents in the USA consume large amounts of daily calories from ultraprocessed foods (UPFs). Recent evidence links UPF consumption to increased body fat in youth. We aimed to estimate the potential impact of reducing UPF consumption on childhood obesity rate in the USA. Methods We developed a microsimulation model to project the effect of reducing UPF consumption in children's diet on reducing the prevalence of overweight or obesity among US youth. The model incorporated nationally representative data on body mass index (BMI) percentile and dietary intake of 5804 children and adolescents aged 7-18 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2016, and the effect of reducing UPF consumption on calorie intake from a recent randomised controlled trial. Uncertainties of model inputs were incorporated using probabilistic sensitivity analysis with 1000 simulations. Results Reducing UPFs in children's diet was estimated to result in a median of -2.09 kg/m 2 (95% uncertainty interval -3.21 to -0.80) reduction in BMI among children and adolescents aged 7-18 years. The median prevalence of overweight (BMI percentile ≥85th) and obesity (BMI percentile ≥95th percentile) was reduced from 37.0% (35.9%, 38.1%) to 20.9% (15.1%, 29.9%) and from 20.1% (19.2%, 21.0%) to 11.0% (7.86%, 15.8%), respectively. Larger BMI and weight reductions were seen among boys than girls, adolescents than children, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic youth than non-Hispanic white youth, and those with lower levels of parental education and family income. Conclusions Reducing UPF consumption in children's diet has the potential to substantially reduce childhood obesity rate among children and adolescents in the USA.

Contact

jlp284@nyu.edu 708 Broadway New York, NY, 10003