Rudd Center In The News
For 43 years, schoolkids and their parents have clipped the labels from cookie bags and cracker boxes as part of a popular rewards program called Labels for Education. Through this and similar programs — think Tyson’s Project A+ or General Mills’ Box Tops for Education — schools get cash and supplies in exchange for clipped labels from participating food items. But these programs, most of which are wildly popular at U.S. schools, may have major downsides for students. Critics say they are designed to sell junk food to children too young to make good health decisions.
The Washington Post
01/11/2018: Is a Federal Junk Food Tax in Our Future?
If you've been following the news about the epidemic of diabetes and obesity in recent years, you know there have been a number of responses from public health advocates and policymakers - including education programs, encouraging more physical activity, and developing holistic hospital and community interventions. None of these interventions has generated the same level of response - or opposition - as soda taxes.
Whether Tony the Tiger is declaring Frosted Flakes “grrreat” or a manic bird is going “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs,” food commercials remain mainstays of after-school TV even as childhood obesity has become a health crisis. For the last decade, the food industry has defended those ads in part by saying its products are relatively healthy — according to nutrition criteria it has set for itself. But a new report says those criteria are rife with loopholes.
12/28/2017: Food Swamps Are the New Food Deserts
For a study published in November in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers from the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity compared the obesity rate of U.S. counties to their ratio of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores to grocery stores and supermarkets—their level of food-swampiness, in other words.
“Our new research findings demonstrate that preschool-age children frequently view TV food ads and are likely highly influenced by ads that food and beverage companies have pledged to protect them from,” says the study’s lead author, Jennifer Harris, associate professor of allied health sciences in the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, and director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center.