Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Lindsey Smith Taillie, PhD, MPH, research assistant professor of nutrition at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Fellow of the Carolina Population Center, is an international nutrition epidemiologist interested the individual, social, environmental, and policy determinants of diet and obesity. Dr. Taillie obtained her PhD in nutrition (minor in epidemiology) from UNC-Chapel Hill, an MPH in social-behavioral sciences from Yale University, and a BA with honors in sociology from Northwestern University. Dr. Taillie’s work focuses on examining how food policies and regulations affect dietary behaviors, food intake, and obesity in the US and globally. In Latin America, Dr. Taille’s primary interest is in evaluating Mexico’s non-essential food tax, passed on January 2015, especially among low-income groups. She is also working with a team of UNC scholars and scholars from the University of Chile to evaluate Chile’s recently passed set of food regulations, including a sugar-sweetened beverage tax, marketing restrictions on unhealthy food and beverages to kids, and front-of-package warning labels, and how these regulations shift food purchases and dietary intake. Methodologically, Dr. Taillie uses modeling approaches drawn from epidemiology and econometrics to evaluate the effects of food policies using natural experiments. She is currently exploring ways to evaluate the individual and joint effects of these regulations, as well as heterogeneity in response by key subpopulations.

In the US, using datasets of household food purchase data, Dr. Taillie has explored whether a “healthy foods initiative” by the US’ largest food retail chain improved the nutrient profile of US packaged food purchases, and whether this initiative was linked to reductions in diet-related disparities for low-income households as well as Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black households. Additional work examines the link between health claims and price promotions, and how these jointly impact food purchases.

Dr. Taillie teaches a one-credit graduate level course on global food policy, including Latin America, entitled “Taxes, Bans, and Burgers: Directed Readings in Global Food Policy”.


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