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Assessing the Effects of a Statewide Training Initiative on Local School Wellness Policies

The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) developed a 5-year initiative to strengthen wellness policies across their state by offering regional wellness workshops and providing coaches to work with individual districts. KSDE also developed the Wellness Impact Tool (WIT), a self-report measure districts use to document their practices at each school level related to Nutrition, Nutrition Promotion, Physical Activity, and Integrated School-Based Wellness. Kansas districts completed the WIT annually over a 5-year period. The current study evaluates the KSDE wellness initiative by examining the changes in WIT scores over time and by school level, and testing whether greater engagement with wellness supports (i.e., workshops attended and coaching sessions received) predicts higher WIT scores.

Full citation: McKee SL, Xu R, Schwartz MB. Assessing the Effects of a Statewide Training Initiative on Local School Wellness Policies [published online ahead of print, 2022 Jan 19]. Health Promot Pract. 2022;15248399211070808. https://www.doi.org/10.1177/15248399211070808.

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Schools
RUDD AUTHORS:
Marlene Schwartz
Weight enumeration in United States anti‑bullying laws: associations with rates and risks of weight‑based bullying among sexual and gender minority adolescents

Weight-based bullying is among the most prevalent forms of peer harassment and carries significant health consequences—particularly among adolescents who identify as a sexual and/or gender minority (SGM). This study examined how anti-bullying legislation that includes weight as a protected class (enumeration) contributes to the prevalence of weight-based bullying and its adverse health sequelae among SGM adolescents.

Full citation: Lessard LM, Watson RJ, Schacter HL, Wheldon CW, Puhl RM. Weight enumeration in United States anti-bullying laws: associations with rates and risks of weight-based bullying among sexual and gender minority adolescents [published online ahead of print, 2022 Jan 20]. J Public Health Policy. 2022;10.1057/s41271-021-00322-w. http://www.doi.org/10.1057/s41271-021-00322-w

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Weight Bias & Stigma
RUDD AUTHORS:
Leah Lessard
Rebecca Puhl
TV exposure, attitudes about targeted food ads and brands, and unhealthy consumption by adolescents: Modeling a hierarchical relationship

Public health experts raise concerns that extensive exposure to advertising for calorie-dense nutrient-poor food negatively influences adolescents’ diets, but few studies have explored how food advertising affects children over age 12. This study examines adolescents’ attitudes about highly targeted unhealthy food brands and assesses the hierarchical relationship between TV exposure, intermediary measures of advertising effects, and healthy and unhealthy food consumption.

Full citation: Harris J, Sacco S, Fleming-Milici F. TV exposure, attitudes about targeted food ads and brands, and unhealthy consumption by adolescents: Modeling a hierarchical relationship. Appetite. 2022, ISSN 0195-6663, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2021.105804.

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Food & Beverage Marketing
RUDD AUTHORS:
Frances Fleming-Milici
Jennifer Harris
Caregivers’ Understanding of Ingredients in Drinks Served to Young Children: Opportunities for Nutrition Education and Improved Labeling

Against expert recommendations, sugar-sweetened beverages, especially fruit drinks, are consumed by young children. To assess caregivers’ reasons for serving sweetened fruit-flavored drinks and unsweetened juices to their young children (1–5 y) and perceptions of product healthfulness and drink ingredients, a cross-sectional online survey was administered to caregivers (n = 1614). Participants’ top reasons for providing sweetened drinks included child liking it, being inexpensive, child asking for it, and being a special treat.

Full citation: Jensen, M. L., Choi, Y. Y., Fleming-Milici, F., & Harris, J. L. (2022). Caregivers’ Understanding of Ingredients in Drinks Served to Young Children: Opportunities for Nutrition Education and Improved Labeling. Current Developments in Nutrition, 6(1), https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzab151

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Sugary Drinks
RUDD AUTHORS:
Melissa L. Jensen
Yoon Y. Choi
Frances Fleming-Milici
Jennifer L. Harris
7 Strategies to Improve School Meal Consumption

School meals can play an integral role in improving children’s diets and addressing health disparities. Initiatives and policies to increase consumption have the potential to ensure students benefit from the healthy school foods available. Research evidence supports the following strategies to increase school meal consumption. These findings are based on a paper supported by Healthy Eating Research, 7 a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Infographic
FOCUS AREAS:
Schools
RUDD AUTHORS:
Marlene Schwartz
Large State Variation in Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Purchases: What We Learn from the Beverage Industry Data

Negative health consequences of excessive sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption have prompted recommendations for SSB taxation to improve diet and health. Over 40 countries and 8 local US jurisdictions have implemented SSB taxes to date. There is considerable interest in state SSB taxes in the USA, but state-level data on SSB consumption levels is lacking. This article uses proprietary data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation on beverage sales across all US retail channels to estimate state-level per capita SSB purchases in 2021.

Full citation: Andreyeva T., Large State Variation in Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Purchases: What We Learn from the Beverage Industry Data, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 5, Issue 12, December 2021, nzab128, https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzab128

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Sugary Drinks
RUDD AUTHORS:
Tatiana Andreyeva
Stakeholders’ Perspectives on the Current Status of Partnerships between the Food Banking and Healthcare Systems to Address Food Insecurity in the U.S.

One in eight people in the U.S. experience food insecurity (FI). To date, the food banking sector has been at the forefront of efforts to address FI, but the healthcare sector is becoming increasingly involved in such efforts. The extent of collaboration between the two sectors remains unclear. We explored food banking stakeholders’ views on the current state of partnerships between the two sectors.

Full citation: Abebe Gurganus E, Marfo NYA, Schwartz MB, Cooksey Stowers K. Stakeholders’ Perspectives on the Current Status of Partnerships between the Food Banking and Healthcare Systems to Address Food Insecurity in the U.S. Nutrients. 2021; 13(12):4502. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124502.

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Charitable Food System
Food Security
RUDD AUTHORS:
Marlene Schwartz
Kristen Cooksey-Stowers
Diversity Goes to Work Podcast

Dr. Rebecca Puhl and host Phil Wagner discuss how to identify weight stigma, how best to promote health at every size, what workplaces can do to be more inclusive for people of varying sizes, and more.

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Podcast
FOCUS AREAS:
Weight Bias & Stigma
RUDD AUTHORS:
Rebecca Puhl
The Child and Adult Care Food Program: Barriers to Participation and Financial Implications of Underuse

This study assesses facilitators and barriers to participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program(CACFP) and estimates foregone federal funds because of CACFP underuse. Foregone federal funding due to CACFP underuse among eligible Connecticut centers was estimated at $30.7 million in 2019, suggesting that 20,300 young children from low-income areas missed out on CACFP-subsidized food.

Full citation: Andreyeva A, Sun X, Cannon M, Kenney E. The Child and Adult Care Food Program: Barriers to Participation and Financial Implications of Underuse, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2021. ISSN 1499-404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2021.10.001.

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Publication
FOCUS AREAS:
Early Care & Education
RUDD AUTHORS:
Tatiana Andreyeva
Feeding Connecticut’s Children During the Summer: An Evaluation of Access and Family Perspectives on Meal Sites

In collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education, the Rudd Center conducted a study that examined the 2021 USDA Summer Meal Program’s open sites in Connecticut. In order to learn more about the families who participate and their perception of the meal program, surveys were distributed at open meal sites across the state.

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RESOURCE TYPE:
Rudd Report
FOCUS AREAS:
Food Security
RUDD AUTHORS:
Marlene Schwartz
Tatiana Andreyeva
Sally Mancini
Caitlin Caspi
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