Rudd Center In The News
"The energy drink industry claims that their products are safe because they have no more caffeine than a premium coffee house coffee,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Harris from University of Connecticut's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity in Storrs, who wasn’t involved in the study. “However, energy drinks also contain a proprietary ‘energy blend,’ which typically consists of stimulants and other additives. Some of these ingredients (including taurine and guarana) have not been FDA-approved as safe in the food supply, and few studies have tested the effects of caffeine consumption together with these ‘novelty’ ingredients,” she said by email. “On top of that, energy drinks are highly marketed to adolescent boys in ways that encourage risky behavior, including rapid and excessive consumption,” she said. “As a result, emergency room visits by young people in connection with energy drinks are rising.”
Fast food chains are spending a fortune to pull in customers from an early age, and it’s working: A new study from Dartmouth has determined that pre-school age kids who are exposed to fast food marketing are more likely to want to eat that food. Estimates put the amount of money spent on food advertising aimed at children and adolescents at at least $1.6 million dollars. And, in what turns out to be a related statistic, according to the study, 1 in 5 pre-school children in the U.S. are obese.
Food & Wine
Eighty-five percent of parents surveyed about their views on food marketing to children agreed that companies should reduce advertising of unhealthy food to their kids, according to a new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. Support for policies to promote healthy eating habits for their children in the media, schools, and communities increased between 2012 and 2015 among parents surveyed for this study, with black and Hispanic parents significantly more likely to express support than white parents. The new report updates findings from a 2012 Rudd Center report with new data collected from 2012 to 2015. The report is available at www.uconnruddcenter.org/parentattitudes.
04/10/2017: Bid to ban food stamps for soda, candy
Critics from major medical groups to food policy experts say the existing program promotes chronic illness and amounts to public subsidies for powerful junk food conglomerates that lobby against restrictions. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents companies like Coca-Cola, calls the restrictions a “bureaucratic mess.” Still others wonder what impact the restrictions might have on SNAP long term. Tatiana Andreyeva, a University of Connecticut professor and director of economic initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, fears that proposals such as LePage’s could be the first step to the program’s decimation. “It’s very easy to jump from a restriction on sugary beverages to let’s just cut benefits,” she said.
04/04/2017: Words hurt when it comes to describing weight
Words can hurt. Everyone knows that. It’s also common knowledge that children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the stinging impact of certain words. And when it comes to discussing weight, words are be especially hurtful, according to new research from the University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. In their first systematic examination of views about weight-based language among youth, the Rudd Center found that adolescents struggling with overweight or obesity prefer neutral words such as “weight” and “body mass index,” rather than “obese” or “big.”