Hear the Latest on Soda Taxes from the Rudd Center
New Food Policy and Obesity Legislation Database
Want to know what the government is doing about school nutrition programs or menu labeling? The Rudd Center has developed a new tool that allows users to find the most recent information on food policy and obesity legislation. The Legislative Updates page features a comprehensive search function, a list of bills that have been acted upon in the last day and week, contact information for state and federal legislators, and educational materials on the legislative process.
Bills are monitored closely and the Rudd Center database is updated regularly. The Legislative Updates page is located in the Public Policy and Government section of the Rudd Center Web site – a button on the left navigation bar on the home page will take you directly to this new feature.
Explore the Legislative Updates page and find out how your state is addressing obesity.
Just Published by the Rudd Center
Increased personal responsibility certainly will play a role in efforts to combat obesity, but collective action to support enhanced personal responsibility is essential, according to Rudd Center researchers and co-authors in "Personal Responsibility and Obesity: A Constructive Approach to a Controversial Issue," published in the March issue of Health Affairs. Government at all levels should use policy and regulation to help make the healthy choice the easy choice to prevent obesity and support individuals' efforts to lead healthy lives. Co-authors include Rogan Kersh, PhD, New York University; David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School; Robert C. Post, PhD, Yale Law School; Rebecca M. Puhl, PhD, Rudd Center; Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD, Rudd Center; and Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH, Harvard School of Public Health.
Another recent Rudd Center study shows that supermarket aisles are enticing young eyeballs with more familiar characters, celebrities, toys, and movie giveaways on food packaging than ever. Published in Public Health Nutrition, “Marketing Foods to Children and Adolescents: Licensed Characters and Other Promotions on Packaged Foods in the Supermarket,” the study shows a significant increase in the use of youth-oriented cross-promotions on food packaging in the supermarket. Cross-promotions targeted at children and teens increased by 78% from 2006 to 2008, the analysis finds, and only 18% of products examined met accepted nutrition standards for foods sold to youth. Read more about the study. The article is co-authored by the Rudd Center’s Jennifer L. Harris, PhD, MBA, Director of Marketing Initiatives; Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD, Deputy Director; and Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, Director.
Upcoming Seminar Speakers
March 24, 12:30 pm
March 31, 12:30 pm
April 7, 12:30 pm
Unless otherwise noted, seminars are held at the Rudd Center, located at 309 Edwards Street in New Haven, Connecticut, 06511. The seminars are free and open to the public. Seating is limited. The full schedule for our Spring Seminar Series is available online and for download as a PDF document.
You may sign up to receive weekly E-mail updates from the Rudd Center detailing upcoming seminars and schedule changes.
Measure Your School District’s Wellness Policy
School administrators and public health professionals at the local and state levels have a new weapon in their arsenal. The Rudd Center’s WellSAT (Wellness School Assessment Tool) is an online evaluation of school wellness policies that address nutrition education and promotion, physical activity/physical education, school meals, and competitive foods. It is the first instrument of its kind, providing a quantitative assessment that can be used to track progress over time.
The tool contains 50 items, each with examples of language from real school wellness policies to assist with scoring. Users are given a scorecard upon completion that links them to resources to improve specific parts of their school wellness policies. They receive scores in two domains —comprehensiveness and strength. Users scoring multiple policies can download their data for comparison across districts or within the same district over time.
Initiatives Around Town on the Rudd Center Web Site
Initiatives Around Town, a new Web site feature, focuses on organizations and events at Yale University, in New Haven, and throughout Connecticut engaged in food policy, obesity, hunger, schools, and agriculture. The Developing Food Policy Conference at the Yale Law School and Taste of the Nation – New Haven are two exciting opportunities to learn more about what the Rudd Center faculty and staff are working on and how to become involved in food issues.
Rudd Center Spotlight: Mark Bittman
Mark Bittman is one of America’s most celebrated food writers. In his New York Times weekly column, The Minimalist, he introduces dishes from all corners of the globe. Whether the recipe is Galician octopus or potato salad, Bittman’s style, skill, and savoir-faire inspire even the most reluctant cook.
On his New York Times blog, Bitten, Bittman shares recipes, cooking techniques, and provides perspective on a broad range of food issues. In a recent article, “Soda: A Sin We Sip Instead of Smoke?,” Bittman discussed the sugar-sweetened beverage tax and the obesity epidemic in America. Bittman’s insightful views are not limited to the pages of the New York Times. Bittman has penned several best-selling cookbooks, including James Beard Award and Julia Child Cookbook Award winner, How to Cook Everything. He has also enjoyed a successful foray into television as the host of the popular PBS series, “Bittman Takes on America’s Chefs.”
In his newest book, Food Matters, A Guide to Conscientious Eating, Bittman explores the environmental and health challenges associated with the current global food system. He invites readers to become “lessmeatarians” and to make lifestyle choices that he says will help them lose weight, reduce the risk of many diseases, stop global warming, and save money. Harnessing his 30-plus years of musings on all things food, and to borrow from his Food Matters slogan, Bittman is “changing the way America eats.”
This seminar will take place at 12:30 pm at the Peabody Museum, 170 Whitney Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut, in the 3rd Floor Auditorium.
The Latest Rudd Center Podcasts
James E. Tierney, JD
Director, National State Attorneys General Program, Columbia Law School; Former Attorney General of Maine
Our collection of podcasts is available for download on iTunes U, under the Yale University Health & Medicine — Nutrition & Obesity section, or can be subscribed to through an RSS Feed that will automatically update whenever new content is released. Podcasts can be listened to on a computer or downloaded to a music player.