May 2018 Newsletter

Rudd Center Recent Publications

Participation in Federal Meal-Subsidy Program Promotes Healthy Eating in Child Care Centers

Connecticut child care centers participating in a federal food assistance program do a better job at feeding preschoolers healthy foods than non-participating centers, according to a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

Nationwide, 4 million children receive subsidized meals and snacks through the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides financial support for food served in child care centers and family day care homes, and applies standards to the types and quantity of foods served.

The researchers assessed the dietary quality of lunches and feeding practices for preschool-age children at 97 licensed child care centers in Connecticut, and made comparisons by participation in CACFP. Until now, little was known about meals served in child care centers that do not participate in CACFP, and how they compare with CACFP meals and nutrition standards, which require serving low-fat/skim milk, fruit and vegetables, encourage whole grains, and limit the amount of added sugars and solid fats in meals. The study was published May 8 in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

"One of the main differences we found is that most non-CACFP centers were not providing low-fat or skim milk, as required by CACFP, so saturated fat intake among preschoolers attending these centers was higher than in CACFP centers," said Tatiana Andreyeva, Director of Economic Initiatives for the UConn Rudd Center, Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and lead author of the study. "It's an easy switch from whole or reduced-fat milk to low-fat milk because the cost is typically the same. This would make a difference nutritionally and help ensure compliance with state licensing regulations."

A Systematic Review of the Evidence Linking Self-Directed Weight Stigma and Health

Research has documented the negative health effects of being the target of weight bias. Less is known about the relationship between self-directed weight bias, or weight bias internalization, and mental and physical health.

Along with Rebecca Pearl, Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, UConn Rudd Center Deputy Director and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies Rebecca Puhl co-authored a review of the research literature assessing the relationship between self-directed weight bias and health and interventions designed to reduce weight bias internalization and improve health.

The results showed strong links between self-directed weight stigma and emotional and physical health. The paper was published in Obesity Reviews.

Rudd Center in the News

UConn Rudd Center Postdoctoral Fellow Kristen Cooksey Stowers' study on food swamps was cited in a May 21 article: New York City's Biggest 'Food Swamps'.

A May 9 Healio article, Weight stigma commonly felt by men, boys, featured UConn Postdoctoral Fellow Mary Himmelstein's recent study on weight stigma in men. Dr. Himmelstein was a guest on the BYU Radio show, Top of Mind, to talk about her study.

An ABC News piece May 8, Why kids should stay away from sports drinks, featured Rudd Center research.

UConn Today published an article May 8 on the study of the dietary quality of lunches served in child care centers in Connecticut, with comparisons by participation in CACFP: Federal Subsidies Promote Healthy Eating in Child Care Centers

The West Hartford News (CT) published an article May 1 citing research by UConn Rudd Center Deputy Director Rebecca Puhl and Postdoctoral Fellow Mary Himmelstein: Pediatricians look for the best language to discuss weight with children.

What's Simmering With Our Friends

CDC Launches New Website on Infant and Toddler Nutrition

Good nutrition during the first two years of life is vital for healthy growth and development. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a new website that brings together information and strategies for developing healthy eating habits for infants and toddlers (birth to 24 months).

1,000 Days Helps Parents Navigate Infant and Toddler Feeding

An organization by and for moms, 1,000 Days, is partnering with experts, including the CDC and Healthy Eating Research, to offer parents practical information on how to introduce solid foods to their babies. The organization has launched a series of 12 bite-sized videos on the topic.

News to Chew On

San Francisco Patch
SF Soda Tax Providing $10M Annually for Programs
Men's Health
Social Media May Play a Bigger Part in the Obesity Epidemic Than We Thought
MSN/The Telegraph
Watching one extra junk food ad a week means 18,000 more calories a year