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Mary Kay Fox
- Dietary intakes of infants, children, and low-income populations
- Childhood obesity
- School and child care food environments
- Childhood Obesity
- Food Choices and Dietary Quality
- Food Security and Hunger
- Nutrition Assistance Programs
- Human Services
Mary Kay Fox is a nationally recognized expert in nutrition, childhood obesity, and school food environments. She is also Mathematica's director for nutrition policy research.
Fox currently directs an evaluation of the Harlem Children’s Zone’s Healthy Living Initiative, an obesity prevention and treatment program implemented in child care centers, schools, and afterschool programs. She also directs the fourth School Nutrition Dietary Assessment study, a national study of school meal programs that is collecting data from more than 900 schools, and the Food and Nutrition Service WIC-Medicaid II project, which is assessing the impact of participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program on birth outcomes and Medicaid costs.
Widely published in peer-reviewed journals, Fox serves on two Institute of Medicine (IOM) committees, one to review the WIC food packages and another panel looking at the consequences of sodium reduction in different populations. Previous IOM work includes a committee to Review National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program Meal Patterns and Nutrition Standards as well as a similar IOM committee that completed comparable work for the Child and Adult Care Food Program. In addition, she is a member of “The B-24 Project,” a working group that aims to evaluate the evidence base to support inclusion of infants and children under the age of 2 in The Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Fox holds a master’s of education with a concentration in nutrition from Tufts University.
The School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study (SNMCS)
The School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study provides data on a broad array of topics, including critical information about the food and nutrient content of school meals, the costs of school meals, the food environments in schools, and the contribution of school meals to children's overall diets.
Reducing the Risk of Online Sales of WIC Infant Formula: An Assessment of State Agency Practices
This study is examining the potential sale of WIC infant formula through online e-commerce websites. Mathematica is working to monitor e-commerce websites and provide insight into online sales of infant formula.
FNS WIC-Medicaid Study II
We use linked administrative data from WIC, Medicaid, and vital records to analyze associations between (1) WIC participation during pregnancy and birth outcomes, health care use/costs, and maternal behaviors and risk factors; and (2) child WIC participation and health care use and costs.
Evaluation of the Harlem Children's Zone Healthy Harlem Initiative
The Healthy Harlem initiative is a model for promoting healthy lifestyles in the charter schools, early childhood programs, and afterschool programs operated by the Harlem Children’s Zone® (HCZ). Mathematica's evaluation includes both an implementation/process study and an impact study.
Measure Registry for the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR)
We built a database to support the initial version of the registry, which focused on measures in (1) physical activity environments and policies, (2) food environments and policies, (3) individual dietary behaviors, and (4) individual physical activity behaviors (including sedentary behaviors).
New Study Reveals Healthy Harlem Program Led to Increased Physical Activity and Improved Weight Status for Overweight and Obese Students
For overweight and obese middle and high school students enrolled in Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) after-school programs, participation in Healthy Harlem led to sustained positive impacts on physical fitness and weight status, according to interim findings from Mathematica.
SNAP Associated with Improved Household and Child Food Security
A study for Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is associated with improved food security.