March 2019 Newsletter

Rudd Center Recent Publications

Ingredient Bundles and Recipe Tastings in Food Pantries: A Pilot Study to Increase the Selection of Healthy Foods

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, aimed to assess whether a low-cost version of a "meal-kit" could serve as an attractive and convenient method for increasing healthy food selections by offering ingredient bundles in addition to recipe tastings of two chef-created meals. Findings indicate that clients were three times more likely to take kale and whole grains when they visited the pantry on days when recipe tastings and meal kits were available, compared to the days when neither was provided. 

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Total Food Spending, and Diet Quality by Share of Household Food Spending on Red Meat: Results From a Nationally Representative Sample of U.S. Households

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, such as lower risk for cancers and cardiovascular disease.

To gain insight into this relationship, researchers used item-level food purchase and acquisition data collected from a representative sample of U.S. households and examined differences in food costs, nutritional quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. In doing so, they found households spending the least on red meat purchased higher amounts of health promoting nutrients and had the lowest average weekly greenhouse gas emissions.

» read more

Rudd Center In The News

Taxing Soda Would Help Make Kids Healthier
Featured: Marlene Schwartz, Director

CT Food Pantries Pushed to Offer More Nutritional Items
Featured: Kristen Cooksey-Stowers, Postdoctoral Fellow

10 Everyday Ways to Foster a Healthy Body Image in Your Child
Featured: Rebecca Puhl, Deputy Director

In Movies and TV, Plus Size Actresses Finally Assume Leading Roles
Featured: Rebecca Puhl, Deputy Director

How Fast Food Ads Get Under Your Skin, Whether You Realize it or Not
Featured: Jennifer Harris, Director of Marketing Initiatives

How Big Tobacco Hooked Children on Sugary Drinks
Featured: Jennifer Harris, Director of Marketing Initiatives

Can Food Choices Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
Featured: Rebecca Boehm, former Postdoctoral Fellow

YouTube Stars Pushing Junk Food Get Kids to Eat More Unhealthy Snacks
Featured: Jennifer Harris, Director of Marketing Initiatives

What's Simmering With Our Friends?

Upcoming Webinar: Unhealthy Food Advertising Targeted to Hispanic and Black Youth
Hosted by: UConn Rudd Center, Council on Black Health, and Salud America!
Thursday, April 4, 1-2pm EST

A new report released earlier this year highlights increasing disparities in unhealthy food advertising targeted to Hispanic and Black youth. Join the report's authors to hear how food and beverage companies continue to advertise their least healthy products, such as candy, fast food, sugary drinks and snacks, to youth in communities of color, and learn what can be done to encourage food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, grocery retailers, and media companies to improve their targeted marketing practices. 

Register here

Spotlight On Sugary Drinks

Rudd Center Public Testimony on Sugary Drink Taxes

Rudd Center Director of Economic Initiatives, Tatiana Andreyeva, testified on March 15th at the Connecticut Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee Public Hearing. In her testimony, she focused on the proposed taxation on sugary beverages in Connecticut, recommending that any new sugary beverage tax policy use an excise tax, similar to the sugary beverage taxes already in effect in multiple cities throughout the United States. She also addressed evidence of the effects of such taxes and revenue projections for the state of Connecticut. To read her full testimony, click here

American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association Joint Statement 

In a joint policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Heart Association (AHA) endorsed a suite of public health resources, including excise taxes, limits on marketing to children, and financial incentives for purchasing healthier beverages, designed to reduce kids' consumption of sugary drinks. The policy statement, "Public Policies to Reduce Sugary Drink Consumption in Children and Adolescents," will be published in the April 2019 issue of Pediatrics. 

Philadelphia Department of Public Health Sugary Drink Tax & Unemployment Study

On March 27th, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health released a study in the scientific journal PLOS ONE revealing that the unemployment rate in Philadelphia industries potentially affected by a sweetened beverage tax did not change in the year after the tax was implemented. This was the first peer-reviewed study on economic impacts after a beverage tax in the U.S., looking at supermarkets, soft drink manufacturers, restaurants, retail stores, and similar industries to see if total unemployment claims filings increased. To read the full study and view data analyzed, click here

News To Chew On

The Baltimore Sun
Tax on Soda Crucial to Children’s Health
Middle-School Screening Uncovers Diabetes, High Cholesterol
Junk Food Adverts Could Be Banned Before 9pm in Fight Against Childhood Obesity
NBC Boston
Limited Access to Healthy Food Impacts Certain Neighborhoods
BBC News
Easter Eggs ‘Being Pushed Too Early in Shops’
Penn State University
The Medical Minute: Small changes can go far in preventing childhood obesity