Child Nutrition Bill Approved
School food advocates are rejoicing at Congress' recent approval of the child nutrition bill – the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
Features of the bill include:
- Raising the rate for reimbursable meals by six cents to set higher nutritional standards for items sold in the lunch line and vending machines
- Boosting the number of low-income children who qualify for reduced-price or free school meals
- Increasing the reach of the Afterschool Lunch Program from 13 to all 50 states
- Strengthening school wellness policies by revising policy requirements
Initially extended for one year by Congress in 2009, the House of Representatives failed to vote on the bill by the September 30 deadline amid controversy over the proposed funding increases from cuts in the federal food stamp program. President Obama, who anticipates signing the bill, intends to find alternate funding sources before the reductions take effect.
New Pledges on Food Marketing to Children Database
What promises have the food and beverage industries made to limit unhealthy food marketing to children worldwide? Which companies and restaurants have made commitments to the pledges? How do companies’ commitments vary by country? The Rudd Center’s new international database of pledges on food marketing to children can answer these questions.
We have compiled detailed information on the 16 pledges that have been launched around the world and individual companies’ commitments to those pledges. The database is searchable by country and company, and specific pledge details include definition of audience and "children" (based on age), communications channels and marketing methods covered, and foods affected.
The database is part of a Rudd Center initiative to study the scope and impact of food marketing to young people funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and was developed in collaboration with Corinna Hawkes, PhD, Consultant in Food and Nutrition Policy and Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Food Policy of City University London.
“We developed this tool for researchers and the public health community to help them understand the promises that food companies have made around the world and spur further improvements in marketing practices targeted to young people” said Jennifer L. Harris, PhD, MBA, Rudd Center Director of Marketing Initiatives.
Kellogg Company Settles False Advertising Lawsuit
A settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit alleging that the Kellogg Company had falsely advertised its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal by saying it improved children’s attentiveness, memory, and other cognitive functions.
Under the proposed settlement, Kellogg will be required to set up a $2.75 million fund to pay claims to consumers who purchased Frosted Mini-Wheats between January 28, 2008, and October 1, 2009. Consumers can seek $5 in compensation for each box of purchased cereal, up to a total of three boxes. They can submit a claim form until June 3, 2011. Kellogg has also agreed to give $5.5 million to charities working to provide food to indigent people and to make changes in its labeling and marketing of Frosted Mini-Wheats.
Upcoming Seminar Speaker
December 8, 12:30 pm
Unless otherwise noted, seminars are held at the Rudd Center. The seminars are free and open to the public. Seating is limited. The full schedule for our Fall Seminar Series is available online and for download.
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Weight Bias: A Barrier to Gynecologic Care
Obese patients commonly report that their weight makes them embarrassed and reluctant to obtain routine gynecologic examinations, according to a recent article by Rebecca M. Puhl, PhD, Rudd Center Director of Research and Weight Stigma Initiatives. Barriers include use of small gowns and inadequate medical equipment, embarrassment about being weighed, and negative attitudes from healthcare providers.
Providers can implement several strategies to increase obese patients’ access to gynecologic services and improve their quality of care. Strategies include weighing patients in private and with appropriate equipment, using sensitive language, and focusing on health behaviors.
The article is the latest in a series on Medscape, a part of WebMD Health Professional Network (free online registration required).
Rudd Center Spotlight: Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH
Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, will discuss community-based solutions to reduce obesity among African Americans during the Rudd Center’s Fall Seminar Series on December 8. Dr. Kumanyika is Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine.
With a background that integrates epidemiology, nutrition, minority health, and women's health, Dr. Kumanyika focuses her research on the prevention of obesity and related health problems such as hypertension and diabetes. Her work centers on health disparities affecting African Americans.
In 2002, Dr. Kumanyika founded the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network, a national network devoted to improving the quality, quantity, and effective translation of obesity research for African American communities. She was also the founding director of Penn’s Master of Public Health Program and is active in public health within the United States and abroad.
She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on the Healthy People 2020 Objectives and as Co-Chair of the London-based International Obesity Task Force.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Restaurants in Erie County, New York, will now display nutrition facts for their menu items, including calorie, fat, salt, and vitamin content. The information will enable customers to make more informed menu choices and encourage restaurants to create healthier options.
Developed by the county health department and the Western New York chapter of the National Restaurant Association, this is the first initiative of its kind. A software program used to generate the nutrition information will be given to the first 200 restaurants to participate. Funding was provided by a New York community wellness grant.
The Latest Rudd Center Podcasts
Terry O’Toole, PhD, FASHA
Health Scientist, Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Rudd Center’s extensive library 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 automatically updates when new content is released. Podcasts can be listened to on a computer or downloaded to a music player.