April 2018 Newsletter

Rudd Center Recent Publications

Men May Experience Weight Stigma at Rates Similar to Women

First Comprehensive Analysis of Weight Stigma Exclusively in Men

Negative biases against people with obesity are widespread and can contribute to physical and emotional health problems. Studies of weight stigma often focus 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.

A new study of weight stigma in men by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut found that a significant portion of adult American men reported being mistreated about their weight. The findings suggest that men may be experiencing weight stigma at similar rates relative to women.

"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," said Mary Himmelstein, a UConn Rudd Center Postdoctoral Fellow and lead author of the study.

The study was published April 24 in Obesity.

Rudd Center in the News

Jennifer Harris, UConn Rudd Center Director of Marketing Initiatives, commented in an intriguing article published April 24 in Mic: What If We Didn’t... advertise food to children?

UConn Rudd Center Postdoctoral Fellow Mary Himmelstein's study showing men may experience weight stigma as much as women received widespread media coverage nationally. Outlets that covered the study included HealthDay, Medscape, UPI, Hearst Media papers, U.S. News & World Report, Doctors Lounge, PRNewswire, and UConn Today: Men May Experience Weight Stigma as Much as Women.

Comments by UConn Rudd Center Director Marlene Schwartz were featured in an April 19 perspective piece in The Washington Post: Moby caught flak for saying food stamps shouldn’t pay for junk food. But he’s right.

Dr. Schwartz participated on a panel discussion April 10 on WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, trying to answer the question: "What do Americans really cook and eat?" Listen to the informative and often funny podcast: The $12 Potato Chip -- And Other Horrors.

Dr. Schwartz also was interviewed for a piece published April 13 in the Macon (GA) Telegraph: How healthy is your child's school lunch? You might be surprised.

The New York City Food Policy Center highlighted UConn Rudd Center Postdoctoral Fellow Kristen Cooksey Stowers' study on food swamps in an April 23 article: Tulsa, Oklahoma Bans Dollar Stores to Build Healthier Neighborhoods.

The New Haven Register and other CT Hearst papers cited our Center's study on the words that youth prefer when talking about weight and obesity, in an April 22 article: Pediatricians look for the best language to discuss weight with children.

Rudd Center Hosts Healthy Food Policy Project Meeting

Our Center hosted members of the Healthy Food Policy Project team along with the project's four advisors on April 19. The Healthy Food Policy Project is a four-year collaboration of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at VT Law School, the Public Health Law Center, and the UConn Rudd Center. This project is funded by the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rudd Center team members include Kristen Cooksey Stowers (far right), Sally Mancini (second from right), and Renee Gross (sixth from right).

New Rudd Center Food Marketing Policy Brief

Extensive marketing of unhealthy food and drinks to young people ages 2 to 17 remains a major public health concern. A new Rudd Center policy brief issued this month provides an overview of industry voluntary self-regulatory policies, legal action, and public-private partnerships proposed and/or enacted in 2016 and 2017 to reduce unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children. Check out our Center's new policy brief to see how a concerted effort by policy makers, health advocates, researchers, and food and beverage companies is needed to continue to reduce unhealthy food marketing to youth in measurable and meaningful ways, and support parents' efforts to raise healthy children.

Smorgasbord of Food Monologues

UConn first-year writing seminar students performed original monologues they had written about food and weight topics on April 23 at the Student Union in Storrs. Frances Fleming Milici, Rudd Center Research Associate, introduced the students in English Instructor Sarah Moon's You Are What You (Think) You Eat spring seminar. Our Center helped the class choose monologue topics based on our mission and research. Earlier in the semester, UConn Rudd Center Director of Advocacy Resources Sally Mancini presented to the class about our Center's work.

UConn Rudd Center Research Associate Frances Fleming Milici (left) and UConn Graduate student and English instructor Sarah Moon

News to Chew On

Why cereal companies are returning to sugar
Philadelphia Magazine
The Soda Tax Has Had a Huge Impact on Philly’s Soda-Drinking Habits, Suggests New Study
Soda Tax Advocates Just Got a New Weapon in Their Battle Against Sugar
Hunger And Homelessness Are Widespread Among College Students, Study Finds
AlterNet - by Michael Jacobson
Why Is Trump Trying to Kill Front-of-Package Nutrition Labeling?
The Harvard Gazette
Expert advice for reducing obesity: Take the blame out of it
Here's How the GOP Farm Bill Is an Unapologetic Assault on Public Health
Junk Food Advertising Zeros In On Kids The Most, According To This New Study