The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity will become part of the university’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS), Yale’s premier center for the study and shaping of public policy and training of future policy leaders, it was announced. The Rudd Center is a distinguished program that researches and provides high-level guidance for obesity- and food-related policy.
Recently ranked as one of the most effective among all U.S. nonprofits working on nutrition policy, the Rudd Center joins ISPS as a specialized study center. Working with ISPS, it will continue its mission of improving the world’s diet, preventing obesity, and reducing weight stigma by establishing creative connections between biological and social science and public policy.
“We are delighted to join ISPS and the community of social science and policy researchers at Yale,” says Marlene Schwartz, Rudd Center director. “This move reflects the Rudd Center's commitment to increasing our longstanding collaboration with faculty and students from other departments and schools at Yale.”
“The Rudd Center has shown how high-quality research and creative thinking can be married to thoughtful commentary on public policy,” says Jacob Hacker, director of ISPS and professor of political science. “We expect to learn from them as much as they learn from us as we move forward together.”
The ISPS network at Yale includes a large roster of top scholars and students from social science departments, as well as from law, medicine, environmental studies, public health, and management. It is home to three other specialized study centers: the Center for the Study of American Politics, ISPS Health at Yale, and the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. The Rudd Center will now become a partner not just with ISPS but also with these centers as they seek to expand their work on some of the most pressing health issues of our day.
In 2012 the fast food industry spent $4.6 billion to advertise mostly unhealthy products, and children and teens remained key audiences for that advertising, according to a new report by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. The report highlights a few positive developments, such as healthier sides and beverages in most restaurants’ kids’ meals, but also shows that restaurants still have a long way to go to promote only healthier fast-food options to kids.
“There were some improvements, but they have been small, and the pace too slow,” said Marlene Schwartz, Rudd Center director. “Without more significant changes, we are unlikely to see meaningful reductions in unhealthy fast food consumption by young people.”
The report, “Fast Food FACTS 2013,” is a follow-up to a report released in 2010. Using the same methods, researchers examined 18 of the top fast-food restaurants in the United States and documented changes in the nutritional quality of menu items along with changes in marketing to children and teens on TV, the Internet, social media, and mobile devices.
Detailed findings of the report will be presented Nov. 5 at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in Boston. The report was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read more.