Lindsey Smith Taillie

Lindsey Smith Taillie, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Nutrition
Associate Chair of Academics
Department of Nutrition
123 W Franklin St, Room 2107
CB #8120
Chapel Hill,NC 27514


Lindsey Smith Taillie is a nutrition epidemiologist whose work focuses on designing and evaluating food policies to support healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable diets across the globe. She uses datasets on the food supply, food marketing, food prices, purchases, and dietary intake to evaluate the impact of a variety of laws, including sugary drinks and ultraprocessed foods taxes, restrictions on unhealthy food marketing to kids, food assistance programs, and front-of-package food labels. Dr. Taillie is co-director of the Global Food Research Program , and currently co-leads a large multi-country project to inform and evaluate an array of healthy food policies around the world, with a major focus in Latin America, including Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Mexico. For example, one recent project involved evaluating the impact of Chile’s first-of-their kind regulations on warning labels, marketing restrictions, and school sales bans on unhealthy foods. 

Dr. Taillie also leads research using controlled experiments to inform policy design. She co-created the UNC Mini Mart, an experimental store located at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention that looks and feels like a real convenience store. She also created Lola’s, an experimental online supermarket, and uses these stores to test the impact of an array of policies on consumer food purchasing behavior. For example, a recent project focused on developing and testing graphic warning labels on parents’ purchases of sugary drinks for their children. Another project uses ‘nudges’ like swaps and pop-up messages to encourage parents to make healthier purchases. Much of this work focuses on designing policies to promote health equity in historically underserved communities, using a community-engaged approach to inform research design and dissemination.  

A third focus for Dr. Taillie is in using policies and interventions to promote more sustainable diets. A recent project focused on developing and testing taxes and warning labels to reduce red meat purchases to achieve health and environmental co-benefits. She is currently leading an EPA-funded grant to develop interventions to prevent household food waste as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Dr. Taillie is also leading an NIH-sponsored workgroup with the goal of developing a framework to understand dietary patterns and consumer choice in the context of climate and environmental change.

Recent classes Dr. Taillie has taught include Triple I: Food: People, Politics, and Policy; Introduction to Food Studies; and Soda, Snacks, and Sustainability: Global Food Policy. She is currently working on developing a new class, Global Sustainable Food Systems. 

Lindsey Smith Taillie in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

Carolina Asia Center Curriculum/Course Development Grant
2015, UNC

Finalist, American Society for Nutrition Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science at Experimental Biology Conference
2015, ASN

Explorations in Global in Global Health Grant Recipient
2015, UNC

Research Interests:

Behavior Science, Health Equity, Nutrition and Physical Activity, Obesity, Public Health Ethics and Law, Public Health Studies (Design, Conduct and Analysis)

Key Publications

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation and racial/ethnic disparities in food and beverage purchases. Grummon A, Taillie LS*. (2018). Public Health Nutrition..

No Fat, No Sugar, No Salt ... No Problem? Prevalence of “Low-Content” Nutrient Claims and Their Associations with the Nutritional Profile of Food and Beverage Purchases in the United States. Taillie LS*, Ng SW, Xue Y, Busey E, Harding, M. (2017). Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics., 117(9), 1366-74.

Chile's 2014 sugar-sweetened beverage tax and changes in prices and purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages: An observational study in an urban environment. Caro JC, Silva A, Popkin BM, Corvalan C, Reyes M, Taillie LS*.  (2018). Plos Medicine., 15(7), 840-846.
View publication

Do high vs. low purchasers respond differently to a nonessential energy-dense food tax? Two-year evaluation of Mexico's 8% nonessential food tax. Taillie, L. S., J. A. Rivera, B. M. Popkin and C. Batis.  (2017). Preventive Medicine., 105(Supplement), S37-S42.

Best practices for using natural experiments to evaluate retail food and beverage policies and interventions. Taillie LS, Grummon AH, Fleischhacker S, Grigsby-Toussaint D, Leone L, Caspi C. (2017). Nutrition Reviews., 75(12), 971-989.


  • PhD, Nutrition, minor in Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014
  • MPH, Social-behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, 2011
  • BA (with honors), Sociology, Northwestern University, 2007