Press Releases

09/10/2020: Weight stigma predicts emotional distress and binge eating during COVID-19

Links between obesity and complications of COVID-19 have received increasing attention throughout the pandemic. But a different aspect of body weight – the social stigma that people face because of their weight - may also have harmful implications for people’s health during the pandemic. New research from the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and the University of Minnesota shows that young adults who experienced weight stigma before the pandemic have higher levels of depressive symptoms, stress, eating as a coping strategy, and are more likely to binge-eat during COVID-19 compared to those who haven’t experienced weight stigma. 

06/23/2020: Beverage Companies Spent More than $1 Billion in Advertising for Sugary Drinks and Energy Drinks in 2018

Beverage companies spent $1.04 billion to advertise sugary drinks and energy drinks in 2018, a 26% increase compared to 2013, according to Sugary Drinks FACTS 2020, a new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut. The report documents continued extensive targeted advertising of sugary drinks by beverage companies directed to Black and Hispanic youth, which contributes to health disparities affecting communities of color. 

06/15/2020: Many LGBTQ adolescents report experiences of victimization that extend beyond their sexual and gender orientations

91% of LGBTQ adolescents in a US survey report at least one experience of bias-based bullying, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. This number is more than double estimates from previous studies with predominantly heterosexual youth. The study reports findings from the LGBTQ National Teen Survey, a comprehensive survey conducted in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign to assess victimization, health behaviors, family relationships, and experiences of LGBTQ adolescents across the United States.

05/26/2020: School Wellness Policies Key to Ensuring New York Schools Adopt Healthier Nutrition and Exercise Standards

New York’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) program is an initiative to increase access to healthy, affordable foods, and opportunities for physical activity in some of the state’s high-need school districts. As part of the program, schools worked with district-level officials to assess their written wellness policies using the WellSAT, an online written wellness policy assessment measure. 

Study findings indicated that schools within districts with strong policies were nearly twice as likely to implement overall wellness practices compared to schools in districts with weak policies or no policies at all.

03/12/2020: Common Marketing Claims Persuade Caregivers that Infant Formula and Toddler Milks Provide Unsupported Health Benefits for Young Children

Marketing claims promote benefits of providing infant formula and toddler milks that are not supported by scientific evidence, yet 60% of caregivers surveyed mistakenly believe these products provide nutrition not present in breastmilk, whole milk or other healthy foods, according to a new paper published in Maternal and Child Nutrition from researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. Relatedly, caregivers who participated in the study who believe these unsupported claims are significantly more likely to serve infant formula and toddler milk to their children, despite expert recommendations that toddler milks are not necessary for toddlers and that breastmilk is superior to infant formula for infants up to 12 months.

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