Faculty Facilitator: Dr. Marie Bragg, PhD
As Director of the Socio-Economic Evaluation of Dietary Decisions Program (SeedProgram), Dr. Bragg conducts research on environmental and social factors associated with obesity, food marketing, food policy, and health disparities. According to Dr. Bragg, researchers have demonstrated that food companies create a “health halo” around foods that might otherwise be perceived as unhealthy.
The Seed Program has conducted web-based studies that examine how people react to products based on what information or health claims are placed on the package; how adolescents perceive racially/ethnically-targeted food and non-alcoholic beverage marketing; the effects of food and beverages endorsed by celebrities and athletes; and studies that examine the nutritional quality of food and beverages endorsed by popular music celebrities and athletes. The implications of Dr. Bragg’s research have been used to support public policy such as the Healthy Happy Meals Bill and the Sodium Warning Label.