Lindsey Smith Taillie is a research Assistant Professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and Fellow at the Carolina Population Center. She received a BA. in Sociology with honors from Northwestern University, an MPH from the Yale School of Public Health (concentration in social-behavioral sciences), and a PhD in nutrition (minor in epidemiology) from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Lindsey is a nutrition epidemiologist whose work focuses on evaluating food policy efforts, in the US and around the globe, and how these influence disparities in diet and obesity. Her dissertation research examined whether a “healthy foods initiative” by the US’ largest food retail chain was responsible for improvements in the healthfulness of food purchases and reductions in diet-related disparities. She is currently involved efforts to evaluate a number of major government regulatory efforts aimed at improving diet, including the recently passed sugary beverage tax in Berkeley, CA, Mexico’s “junk food” tax, and emerging regulations on front-of-package labeling, food advertising, and sugary beverage taxes in other Latin American countries. Her work utilizes approaches from sociology, epidemiology, nutrition, and econometrics, with a focus on developing strategies to handle the complexities of evaluating food policies using natural experiments.
In conjunction with the UNC Food Research Program, Lindsey’s previous and ongoing US efforts focus on the link between home cooking, diet, and obesity, especially among low-income populations. In addition to her work in Latin America, Lindsey is also interested in the nutrition transition in China, and has spent several summers conducting fieldwork on diet behaviors and assessment technologies, as well as more traditional epidemiologic analyses of obesity. Lindsey is also interested in exploring ethical issues related to the food system, environment, and economics in the context of a dynamic, globalizing food supply.
A Buckeye by birth and a North Carolinian by choice, Lindsey loves Lake Erie, the Smokies, 70 degree days in February, pine forests, and bluegrass. In her free time, she loves binge reading (it’s a thing), embarassingly bad crime dramas (Bones!), yoga, hiking, and making messes. If she had to choose a last meal on Earth, it would probably involve a slice of New-Haven style pizza (with bacon & mashed potatoes), a kale ceasar salad, a big glass of syrah, and a brownie the size of her head.