Dr. Rebecca Puhl is Deputy Director for the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Health and Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at UConn. Dr. Puhl is responsible for identifying and coordinating research and policy efforts aimed at reducing weight stigma and discrimination.
Dr. Puhl earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Yale University. She has conducted research on weight stigma and discrimination for over 20 years and has published 180+ studies on weight-based bullying in youth, weight bias in health care and the media, interventions and policy strategies to reduce weight bias, and the impact of weight stigma on emotional and physical health.
Dr. Puhl has testified in state legislative hearings on weight bias, routinely provides expertise to national health organizations, and has developed evidence-based training resources to reduce weight bias that have been implemented in medical facilities across the country.
As a leading national research expert in the field of weight bias, Dr. Puhl is routinely interviewed in the national and international media. Her work has been recognized with national awards including the Excellence in Policy Research Award from the National Eating Disorders Coalition, and The Obesity Society Scientific Achievement Award for excellence in an established research career, and she was named to the World’s Highly Cited Research List in 2021. At UConn, Dr. Puhl was the inaugural recipient of the Excellence in Research Award in Public Scholarship by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the 2023 recipient of the Excellence in Research and Creativity Career Award by the American Association of University Professors. Her research projects have been supported by grants from the Rudd Foundation, WW International, and Eli Lilly & Company. She has previously consulted with various organizations across academic, non-profit, government, and industry sectors.