Rudd Center In The News
04/24/2018: What If We Didn’t... advertise food to children?
Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, takes issue with these pledges, referring to them as mostly public gestures versus deep resolutions to help kids. Plus, the commitments haven’t actually shown much positive impact, she added. “There’s a lot of loopholes,” Harris said. “The products that [the participants] are advertising mostly are sugary cereals, [other] things like Lunchables, fruit snacks, Popsicles — a lot of things people wouldn’t consider healthier dietary choices.”
A new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut finds that a significant portion of adult American men report being mistreated about their weight. The findings suggest that men may be experiencing weight stigma at rates similar to women. Negative biases against people with obesity are widespread, and can contribute to physical and emotional health problems. Previous studies of weight stigma have often focused on women, and indicate that women experience weight stigma more than men. Recent evidence, however, suggests the gap between men and women in experiencing weight stigma may be smaller than previously thought. Yet little research has been conducted on weight stigma in men exclusively – until now.
“Given the popular notion that concerns about body weight and weight stigma are primarily ‘women’s issues,’ our study highlights the importance of recognizing weight stigma as a problem that both men and women experience,” says Mary Himmelstein, a UConn Rudd Center postdoctoral fellow and lead author of the study.
A report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity argues that the concept of “food swamps” is more useful than that of “food deserts,” since it focuses on what types of food are available (high-calorie fast food and junk food) rather than focusing on the lack of availability of healthy foods. Their research shows that food swamps are more likely to predict obesity than food deserts.
New York City Food Policy Center
Researchers Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Rudd Center, and Mary Himmelstein, Rudd Center Postdoctoral Fellow, provided a link to an online survey that was completed by 148 people between the ages of 13 and 18 enrolled at a commercial weight loss summer camp in 2017 — split evenly between boys and girls — and rating 16 different words and terms for body weight on a scale from unpreferable to preferable. Overall, only “weight problem,” “plus size” and “chubby” were rated preferable by more than half of respondents, while about half of respondents disliked “curvy,” “obese” and “extremely obese.” The researchers said the study is a “first step” to addressing a gap in research by soliciting youth perspectives on stigmatized terms and weight discussion.
New Haven Register
With SNAP, as with so many political issues, polarization is off the charts. According to Marlene Schwartz, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut, “distrust among the parties involved . . . has become toxic and has effectively stalled all efforts by policymakers to change the regulations concerning SNAP to include nutrition standards.”
The Washington Post