February 2017 Newsletter

Rudd Center Recent Publications

Multiple Approaches Needed to Combat Societal Weight Stigma, According to Women  

Societal stigma of individuals with overweight and obesity is well established, but few remedies have been implemented to address this problem. Women with obesity who were asked their views about strategies to reduce weight stigma in our society say that interventions in the workplace, schools, and healthcare should be prioritized, according to a study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. "The broad support expressed for multiple strategies across diverse settings suggests that individuals with these stigmatized identities view a need for comprehensive approaches to effectively reduce weight stigma," said Rebecca Puhl, Deputy Director of the UConn Rudd Center and lead author of the study. It was published in Obesity Science & Practice on Feb. 8.

Rudd Center in the News

UConn Today published an article Feb. 8 on Dr. Puhl's new study on women's perspectives about approaches to reduce weight stigma: How to Reduce Weight Stigma? Ask Those Who Know Best.

Dr. Puhl was interviewed for a Jan. 31, CBS News story, Fat shaming can lead to a host of health problems. She commented on a study, published in the journal Obesity, showing that stigmatizing people with obesity or overweight will not motivate them to lose weight and may even increase their risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. She was also quoted in articles about the study in MedicineNet.com and True Viral News. Dr. Puhl co-authored a commentary piece to accompany the study in Obesity. 

The February edition of UConn Magazine featured a quote from Jennifer Harris, Rudd Center Director of Marketing Initiatives, calling out the fact that industry-funded studies found no association between sugar-sweetened beverages and health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes. A slight majority of the studies included in the same report did find an association, and only one of these had ties to industry.  "If you take out the studies that were industry-funded, there is no controversy. That makes this an important study," Dr. Harris said. Her comments originally appeared in an article in Stat

UConn Rudd Center Director Marlene Schwartz commented on the debate over whether to restrict purchases in the SNAP program, for a Feb. 26 story in Florida's FlaglerLive.com. The article, written by Jen Fifield of the Pew Charitable Trusts's Stateline news platform, also appeared in The Huffington Post and Philly.com.

The New York City Food Policy Center Blog published a Feb. 8 article, Unhealthy Health Advertising May Stimulate Eating and Send the Wrong Message, which quotes Dr. Schwartz. The Reno Gazette-Journal carried a version of the story Feb. 12.

UConn Rudd Center Research Associate Margaret Read commented on the benefits of creating and reviewing school wellness policies in a Feb. 9 article in Utah's The Deseret News: How parents can get creative to limit Valentine's sweets.

A Feb. 17 article in The Hill, Restricting what recipients of SNAP benefits eat won't fix nutritional issues, included a link to our recent study showing increases in TV food and beverage advertising during programming viewed by youth.

Sally Mancini, UConn Rudd Center Director of Advocacy Resources, was quoted in a Feb. 17 article by NPR's WSHU: Legislators Take Up Bill to Combat Obesity. She provided testimony a day earlier to the Connecticut General Assembly's Committee on Children about proposed legislation that would increase physical activity and limit the serving of sugary drinks in childcare settings.

What's Simmering With Our Friends

Healthy Eating Research Publishes Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Young Toddlers: A Responsive Parenting Approach

"Early life diet and feeding behaviors play an important role in establishing healthy food preferences and behaviors and are crucial for preventing childhood overweight and obesity. This report presents evidence-based recommendations for promoting healthy nutrition and feeding patterns for infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months, with an emphasis on dietary quality, portion sizes, and mealtime environment...These guidelines were developed by an expert panel convened by Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation."

News to Chew On

Reach MD
U.S. High School Kids Abandoning Sweetened Sodas
Sugary drink consumption by youth far exceeds recommended limit
The Voice of the Cape
Association calls on govt to probe causes of obesity
Richard Besser, MD, Named New President, CEO of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Conversation
Obese Does Not Necessarily Mean Unhealthy
The Washington Post
You're about to see a big change to the sell-by dates on food
Santa Fe New Mexican
City committee greenlights soda tax proposal on 3-1 vote