Press Releases

01/15/2019: Food-Related Ads Targeting Black and Hispanic Youth Almost Exclusively Promote Unhealthy Food and Drinks

Restaurant, food, and beverage companies target Hispanic and Black children and teens with ads almost exclusively for fast food, candy, sugary drinks, and unhealthy snacks. This new report finds that fast food, candy, sugary drinks, and unhealthy snacks represented 86 percent of food ad spending on Black-targeted TV programming, where black consumers comprise the majority of viewers, and 82 percent of ad spending on Spanish-language TV, in 2017.

12/17/2018: School Nutrition Policy Implementation Slows Weight Gain in Middle School Students

Most children in the United States spend an average of 6 to 7 hours a day at school, which is why schools have become a priority setting for preventing childhood obesity. Since 2006, school wellness policies have been required to set goals for physical and nutrition education and to set nutrition standards for meals and snacks served. These requirements were strengthened in 2010 with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, and while nearly every school district in the country has a written policy to comply with these standards, previous studies have found that strong written policies do not necessarily predict thorough implementation. 

This research, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, aimed to assess whether implementation of specific nutrition and physical activity components of the school wellness policies lead to healthier student outcomes, including BMI trajectories. Findings indicate that implementing strong school nutrition policies results in healthier weight trajectories in middle school students.

11/15/2018: Juice Displaces Milk and Fruit in High School Lunches

The National School Lunch Program reaches over 30 million students, and while fruits, vegetables, and dairy served in the school lunch undoubtedly contribute to a healthy diet, the appropriate role of juice in children's diet has generated debate. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children aged 7-18 consume no more than 8 ounces of juice daily, and juice is permitted to be served as part of the National School Lunch Program only on certain days. 

A new study conducted by Rudd Center researchers utilized cafeteria register data from 3 low-income, Northeast high schools and found that on days when fruit juice was served, students were less likely to select milk, whole fruit, and water. These substitutions have a potential nutritional impact that is important to consider.

06/07/2018: Consumers' Food Choices Can Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Contributing to Climate Change

Changes in diet have been proposed as a way to reduce carbon emissions from the food system. But there has been little research on the affordability and feasibility of low-carbon food choices in the U.S. and how these choices could affect diet and climate change. A new study that provides the latest, most comprehensive estimate of greenhouse gas emissions generated by U.S. consumer food purchases suggests that, if Americans directed their food purchases away from meats and other animal proteins, they could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

05/08/2018: Participation in Federal Meal-Subsidy Program Promotes Healthy Eating in Child Care Centers

Connecticut child care centers participating in a federal food assistance program do a better job at feeding preschoolers healthy foods than non-participating centers, according to a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. 

Nationwide, 4 million children receive subsidized meals and snacks through the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides financial support for food served in child care centers and family day care homes, and applies standards to the types and quantity of foods served. Beccause the program targets support for low-income children, CACFP has become an important policy tool in addressing food security and improving nutrition in young children.

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