Rudd Sound Bites, the Rudd Center's blog that was created in 2006 and retired in 2011, informed, educated, and empowered community members, public officials, and advocacy groups to achieve positive, lasting change in the fight against obesity. Discussions on the blog were insightful and critical to the Rudd Center's mission of reversing the global spread of obesity and reducing weight stigma.
While Rudd Sound Bites is no longer active, entries by current Rudd Center staff from 2006 - 2011 can be found in this archive. Follow the Rudd Center through social media and read our latest guest blogs on the left side of the homepage.
Posts by Staff
Amy Ustjanauskas, BA
Andrea Wilson, MPH, CHES
Ashley Gearhardt, M.S., M.Phil.
Jamie Lee Peterson, MA
Jennifer Harris, PhD, MBA
Jennifer Pomeranz, JD, MPH
Kathryn Henderson, PhD
Kelly D. Brownell, PhD
Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD
Megan Weinberg, MA
Meghan O'Connell, MPH
Rebecca M. Puhl, PhD
Roberta R. Friedman, ScM
12/09/2010 | Ashley Gearhardt
A Food Addiction Story
As research into the food-addiction model continues to gain credence, an author who strongly asserts he is a food addict offers several enlightening perspectives to the discussion. Michael Prager, a writer and former Boston Globe journalist, has recently released an honest, vivid, and thought-provoking memoir, “Fat Boy, Thin Man” on his lifelong struggle with weight.
10/21/2010 | Jamie Lee Peterson, MA
Anti-McDonald’s ad: ‘I was lovin’ it?’ Or ‘I was stigmatized by it?’
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) recently targeted McDonald’s restaurants with an unsettling video advertisement. The video is set in a morgue and focused on a dead male lying on a table, still clutching a half-eaten cheeseburger. Two people stand nearby overlooking the body: a male doctor and the deceased’s widow. PCRM representative and dietician Susan Levin reports that the ad is meant to “take aim at McDonald’s high-fat menu.”The closing slogan states: “High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks- tonight, make it vegetarian.” Although efforts to decrease cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart attacks are positive initiatives, there are concerns with the content of this specific advertisement and its portrayals of weight.
07/23/2010 | Elizabeth Claydon
Friendly’s… Not So Friendly?
The chain restaurants have once again done their part to threaten the health and nutrition of children around the country. This time it is Friendly’s that violates attempts to curb the overwhelming increase in childhood obesity. A chain whose motto “where ice cream makes the meal” is enough to make nutritionists everywhere cringe, Friendly’s has been serving high-calorie, high-sugar, high-fat entrees, desserts, and drinks for 75 years. One only need to trace its history to the Great Depression to appreciate that in a time of want and undernourishment, it promoted a menu of excess and indulgence. No wonder it appealed to the masses.
06/23/2010 | Elizabeth Claydon
Traffic Color Coding
In another loss to the struggle against the food industries, the European Union has passed new standards on foods without including the aptly named “traffic color coding” on food items. The proposed color-coding system would have effectively labeled unhealthy foods (defined as foods high in sugar, salt, and fat) with a red light. Food industry lobbyists worried that this visible labeling system would “demonize” their foods and hurt sales. Additionally, the food companies feared that government administration would have too much regulatory power over them if more stringent and controversial steps like color coding were taken.
05/26/2010 | Elizabeth Claydon
Pain Relief: Sugar Drops for Immunizations?
With the prevalence of childhood obesity remaining high, every effort must be taken to encourage healthier eating and behaviors at a very young age. By creating healthier lifestyles from ‘baseline’, we can prevent both obesity and many of its comorbidities, thereby setting up children to live healthy lives.
05/21/2010 | Jennifer Pomeranz, JD, MPH
Factual Corrections to Statements Made by the Center for Consumer Freedom During Power Lunch on CNBC with the Rudd Center
Since I was given a limited time frame to respond to some of the factually-incorrect statements made by a representative of the Center for Consumer Freedom, I thought I would clear up the misrepresentations he made during CNBC's Power Lunch segment, "Selling Junk Food to Kids," which aired on May 18, 2010.
01/25/2010 | Meghan O'Connell, MPH
Food Rules in Review
I really enjoyed Michael Pollan’s latest book, “Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.” In it, he answers three basic questions, in three short chapters: Chapter 1 - What should I eat? Eat Food; Chapter 2 - What kind of food should I eat? Mostly Plants; and Chapter 3 - How should I eat? Not too much.
01/20/2010 | Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD
The Party That Doesn’t Stop
I frequently get asked about my view on classroom parties. Last week, I wrote a very long e-mail to someone in response to this question, so I thought I would post what I wrote so I can share these views with all of you.
01/08/2010 | Christina Roberto Recently, a new Rudd Center study on menu labeling came out in the American Journal of Public Health. For this study, we recruited people from the New Haven community to participate in consumer market research. During the study, people were randomly assigned to receive one of three menus. Some people got a menu with calorie labels on it, some got a menu without calorie labels on it, and the last group got a menu with calorie labels and a label that read: “the average daily caloric intake for an adult is 2000 calories.” Participants then ordered and ate a meal for dinner.
People Eat Less When They Know More
Recently, a new Rudd Center study on menu labeling came out in the American Journal of Public Health. For this study, we recruited people from the New Haven community to participate in consumer market research. During the study, people were randomly assigned to receive one of three menus. Some people got a menu with calorie labels on it, some got a menu without calorie labels on it, and the last group got a menu with calorie labels and a label that read: “the average daily caloric intake for an adult is 2000 calories.” Participants then ordered and ate a meal for dinner.
01/05/2010 | Andrea Wilson, MPH, CHES
The New Radical
Can finding food in dumpsters, i.e. “dumpster diving," improve the world’s diet and prevent obesity? There may be a lot to learn from freegans (free + vegan), people who use non-traditional strategies to gather the vegan food they eat and items they need, not want, including foraging in the wild, dumpster diving, and good old fashioned sharing.
11/18/2009 | Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD
Clarifying the Chocolate Milk Controversy
For the record - I never set out to attack chocolate milk. I am a mother, a health professional, and a fan of dairy products. I serve milk, yogurt, cheese, and even the occasional ice cream cone to my own three children. My efforts to improve the nutrition environment in schools have focused primarily on foods that offer little nutritional value and add extra calories and sugar to children’s diets.
11/12/2009 | Megan Weinberg, MA
Ahoy Cap’n! Abandon Ship!
This morning, I went to the Cap’n Crunch cereal Web site because I had a question about one of their products. I was greeted with the following message:
"Thanks for visiting the Cap'n Crunch web site. We are refreshing the content and look forward to your next visit. The activities advertised on packages of Cap'n Crunch are no longer available. We apologize for any inconvenience."
10/26/2009 | Megan Weinberg, MA
Drowning in a Sea of Food Marketing
Today, the Rudd Center released a report to the public entitled “Cereal FACTS: Evaluating the nutrition quality and marketing of children's cereals.” The report is the culmination of a year’s worth of research funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and its release coincides with the launch of our new website, www.CerealFacts.org.
09/24/2009 | Andrea Wilson, MPH, CHES
People for the Ethical Treatment of the Obese
Recently PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) posted a billboard in Jacksonville, Florida which read, “Save the Whales, Lose the Blubber: Go Vegetarian.” The organization has come under fire for the use of sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and racist messaging in its campaigns to protect animals. PETA employees have one-upped themselves this time with their blatant stigmatization of overweight and obese people.
09/10/2009 | Kathryn Henderson, PhD
Applause for the American Heart Association
I just read through the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Statement on dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health – kudos to the AHA!