Press Releases

06/03/2019: Increased Substance Use and Poorer Mental Health Found Among LGBTQ Adolescents Experiencing Weight-Based Bullying

Research has found that weight-based victimization contributes to poor health in youth, including substance use and poorer emotional well-being. However, the harms of weight-based victimization have received almost no attention in LGBTQ youth, despite high rates of obesity and high risk for victimization and psychological distress. The study, published in Health Psychology, reports on findings from over 9,000 LGBTQ adolescents across the country who completed questionnaires examining their experiences of victimization, health, family relationships and school experiences. 

Study findings showed that LGBTQ youth who reported being teased or bullied about their weight had increased risk of alcohol use, binge drinking, marijuana use, cigarette use, as well as poorer self-rated health, higher depressive symptoms, and lower self-esteem. These findings persisted regardless of adolescents' demographic characteristics, body weight, sexual identity, gender identity, and sexual or gender minority victimization. 

03/28/2019: Average Greenhouse Gas Emissions Lower for Households Spending Less on Red Meat

Recent research estimated that greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. household food purchasing accounted for 16% of total emissions in the United States in 2013. More specifically, animal-based foods, especially red meat, have been shown to be particularly carbon intensive to produce. For that reason, previous studies have suggested that reduced demand for red meat could have positive environmental effects by driving down greenhouse gas emissions in the food system. By shifting away from red meat, U.S. consumers may also experience improved nutritional quality and health benefits. 

This study used item-level food purchase and acquisition data to examine U.S. household food purchasing patterns and found that households spending less of their food budget on red meat generate lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions have higher diet quality. 

03/19/2019: "Meal Kits" and Recipe Tastings Increase Selection of Healthy Foods Among Food Pantry Clients

Nearly 40 million Americans face hunger, and many rely on the food banking system to supplement the groceries needed to feed themselves and their families. Consequently, it is essential to maximize the nutritional quality of food available through food pantries. At the same time, it is also important to encourage food pantry clients to select these healthier options. 

This study, published in Public Health Nutrition, introduced meal kits in food pantries to see whether this encouraged selections of nutrient dense foods, and it found that cllients were three times as likely to take kale and whole grains when meal kits were offered. 

02/07/2019: High Rates of Weight-Based Bullying Found Among LGBTQ Adolescents

Adolescent obesity rates currently reach 20% in the United States, and weight-based victimization has become a widespread form of mistreatment experienced by youth. This victimization has harmful health consequences, including increased risk for depression, low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, poor body image, disordered eating, and lower levels of physical activity. Although there is mounting evidence of weight-based victimization in youth, there has been little attention to this issue in LGBTQ adolescents, despite their high prevalence of overweight and obesity and increased risk for victimization. This study found that adolescents who identify as LGBTQ are also teased and bullied because of their body weight - in some cases at higher rates than previous reports of weight-based bullying in heterosexual youth. 

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.

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