Press Releases

11/09/2017: The Ways that People Cope with Weight Stigma May Have Important Health Implications

Considerable evidence has linked the experience of being teased or bullied because of weight to poor health. Yet few studies have explored how individuals cope with being mistreated because of their weight, or the role that coping responses to weight stigma may play in health outcomes. The findings of a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut show that coping responses to weight stigma help explain why experiencing weight stigma can affect negative or positive health outcomes. Coping with weight stigma by engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors (like exercise or eating healthy foods) was associated with better health, including greater self-esteem, better physical and psychological wellbeing, and less frequent depressive symptoms. Responding to weight stigma with negative emotions and maladaptive eating (such as starving, bingeing or purging) were linked with more depressive symptoms, lower selfesteem and worse physical and emotional health, according to the study. 

11/06/2017: Food Industry Making Progress to Reduce Ads to Kids, But Most Food Advertising to Children Remains Unhealthy

Children are viewing less food-related advertising, especially on children’s TV and the internet, since the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) industry self-regulatory program was launched in 2007, according to a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. As part of the voluntary Initiative, major food and beverage companies pledged to shift the mix of foods advertised to children under 12 to encourage healthier dietary choices.

Yet children still see 10 to 11 food-related TV ads per day, promoting mostly unhealthy products including fast food, candy, sweet and salty snacks, and sugary drinks. Moreover, the majority of CFBAI companies have not responded to repeated calls from public health experts to further strengthen nutrition standards for products they identify as healthier dietary choices that can be advertised directly to children, expand the Initiative to cover children up to at least 14 years old, and expand the types of media covered by their pledges to include programming that children frequently view as well as all forms of marketing that appeal to children, such as mobile apps with branded games and YouTube videos.

10/30/2017: Study Shows Self-Directed Weight Stigma is Prevalent in U.S. Adults

Negative stereotypes and biases against people with obesity are widespread and this weight stigma can be harmful for physical and emotional health. Distinct from experiencing weight stigma, many individuals who are targets of bias also internalize the stigma directed towards them, blaming themselves for the stigma and unfair treatment they experience because of their weight. Internalized weight bias has been linked to concerning health consequences, but little is known about the prevalence of this self-directed stigma - until now.

A new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut shows that internalized weight bias is prevalent among U.S. women and men, with high levels of internalized weight stigma in approximately 1 in 5 adults in the general population and as many as 52 percent of adults with obesity.

10/27/2017: New Study Shows that Healthy Lifestyle Messages in Ads for Unhealthy Food and Drinks Are Not the Way to Teach Children About Good Health

Food and beverage companies claim that healthy lifestyle messages, such as promoting physical activity and good eating habits, in advertising to children teaches them about health and nutrition. However, a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut found that children who viewed TV commercials for unhealthy food and drinks that included healthy lifestyle messages rated the products as more healthful compared to children who saw commercials for similar products with a different message. 

08/10/2017: Are fast-food restaurants keeping their promises to offer healthier kids' meals? New study finds the answer is

A new study evaluating major U.S. fast-food restaurant chains’ pledges to offer healthier kids’ meal drinks and sides shows inconsistent implementation at the chains’ individual restaurant locations. Moreover, promotion of healthier items varied widely between the chains examined, according to a new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

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