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 whether various food policies, such as taxes, warning labels, and marketing restrictions, reduce the purchases and intake of sugary drinks and ultra-processed foods, and whether this ultimately impacts health. She currently has active projects in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Brazil. 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, Dr. Taillie is working on a number of controlled experiments to test whether different policy options differentially affect Latinx parents’ decisions about what to buy and eat. For example, one project uses a convenience store lab, the UNC Mini Mart, to test whether graphic warning labels on sugary drinks reduce parent’s purchases of these beverages. Dr. Taillie teaches a an undergraduate “Triple-I” course called Food: People, Politics, and Policies as well as a graduate course on Nutrition Epidemiology.
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