December 2015 Newsletter

Rudd Center Recent Publications

Multinational Study Shows Support For Policies and Laws Against Weight Discrimination

Government polices and laws against weight discrimination have broad public support in four nations where this form of bias is prevalent, according to a new multinational study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut. The findings of the study, published Dec. 2 in The Milbank Quarterly, suggest that a key condition needed to foster policy change - strong public support - is present in the United States and three other countries surveyed. "As these countries offer little or no protection for people who experience weight discrimination, we hope that our findings will stimulate policy discourse about remedies to address these inequities on a broader level," said Rebecca Puhl, Ph.D., the study's lead author, professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at UConn, and Deputy Director of the Rudd Center.

Rudd Center in the News

New York Magazine highlighted Dr. Puhl's new multinational study in its Dec. 2 "Science of Us" feature, with the headline: "People Have Kinder Attitudes Toward Workplace Discrimination Than You Might Think." Writer Jacoba Urist's piece notes that most of the adults surveyed in the four nations - the United States, Canada, Iceland and Australia, "would like to see increased laws and government policies to protect overweight people in the workplace."

UConn Today spotlighted Dr. Puhl's study in The Milbank Quarterly on Dec. 2, "Study Shows Public Support for Laws Against Weight Discrimination."

The Hartford Business Journal featured Dr. Puhl's study in it Dec. 2 edition, followed by Medical Xpress and Foreign Affairs, a New Zealand-based online service carrying news relevant to the Asia/Pacific region.

In the fifth and final installment of a Here and Now series called "America on the Scale," NPR aired an interview with Dr. Puhl on weight discrimination. In this Dec. 11 segment, headlined "Stigma and 'Fat Shaming' Can Fuel Depression and Increase Obesity, Dr. Puhl talked about how weight stigma affects people with overweight in the workplace and elsewhere, and explained that, instead of motivating weight loss, stigma actually reinforces obesity and the risk of weight gain. The interview includes her suggestions and recommendations for policy-level remedies needed to address weight discrimination.

The Dec. 3 newsletter of the World Obesity Federation, a London-based international group representing members of the scientific, medical and research communities from more than 50 regional and national obesity associations, featured the UConn Rudd Center's Snack Facts 2015 report, issued Nov. 2. The newsletter provided worldwide exposure for the report, which showed that unhealthy snack food advertising to U.S. children increased in the past five years despite industry pledges to self-regulate.

News to Chew On

CBS News
Anti-obesity group funded by Coke disbanding
The Washington Post
What happens when a family runs out of food stamps
Obesity Is Biggest Threat to Female Health
Yahoo! News
First Lady Michelle Obama Unveils 70 Tips to Cut Childhood Obesity
USA Today
Some of the sickest states show healthy gains while others still lag