Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity


1. What is the purpose of the Rudd Center?

The Rudd Center seeks to improve the world’s diet, prevent obesity, and reduce weight stigma by establishing creative connections between science and public policy, developing targeted research, encouraging frank dialogue among key constituents, and expressing a dedicated commitment to real change. It is a leader in building broad-based consensus to change diet and activity patterns, while holding industry and government agencies responsible for safeguarding public health.

The Rudd Center assesses, critiques, and strives to improve practices and policies related to nutrition and obesity so as to inform and empower the public, to promote objective, science-based approaches to policy, and to maximize the impact on public health. The Rudd Center conducts cutting-edge research and acts as a clearinghouse for resources that add to our understanding of the complex forces affecting how we eat, how we stigmatize overweight and obese people, and how we can change.

2. Why is obesity such a pressing issue?

The rate of obesity has been rising rapidly in the U.S. and abroad, and for the first time in history, this generation of children may live a shorter life than their parents. Overnutrition and obesity now surpass undernourishment as the world’s leading food and nutrition problem. Obesity-related illnesses cost the United States $117 billion in 2000, and the bill will only grow as more Americans continue to gain weight. Adult onset diabetes is now referred to as type-2 diabetes, as many children are now developing this disease as a result of being overweight or obese. Doctors are reporting other typically adult-related diseases in overweight children, such as arthritis, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Being overweight as a child increases the probability of remaining overweight as an adult, so naturally, many doctors worry about the future health of today’s children and how our already-burdened health system will cope with them.

Obesity is not only a physical problem, but acts as a target for stigmatization which makes obese and overweight individuals vulnerable to additional emotional, social and physical health consequences.

3. How is the Rudd Center funded?

Leslie Rudd is the co-founder and benefactor of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, which he co-founded in 2005 with Kelly D. Brownell, PhD. The Rudd Center represents a significant expansion and extension of work on bias, stigma, and obesity which the Rudd Foundation has supported since 2000. For more information about how the Rudd Center is funded, please see our funding guidelines.

4. Where can I find research conducted by the Rudd Center?

Follow the links below for information about projects regarding:

5. How can I get involved with the Rudd Center?

There are several ways in which you can become involved in the exciting projects at the Rudd Center. You can add yourself to our mailing list and receive our monthly e-newsletter. Follow the Rudd Center on various social media platforms. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend our guest speaker Seminar Series. Please refer to our employment page to learn about current employment opportunities.