Rudd Center Receives Grant to Study Access to Affordable Healthy Foods for Low-Income Families in Connecticut
Rudd Center researchers will examine the impact of revised nutrition guidelines on the quality, cost and availability of food accessible through the government’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). With a USDA grant, researchers will monitor changes in the food environment in five Connecticut communities. The WIC program seeks to reduce the nutritional risk of low-income pregnant and postpartum women and children up to age five by providing vouchers or checks for food.
Last December, the USDA revised its WIC guidelines to improve nutrition among participants. By October 1, 2009, food bought with WIC dollars must adhere to 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ infant feeding practice guidelines. The revisions include increasing fruits, vegetables, soy-based products and whole grains; providing incentives for women to breastfeed; and reducing benefit allowances for foods like milk, cheese, eggs and juice.
Rudd Center researchers involved in the study include Marlene Schwartz, deputy director; Tania Andreyeva, postdoctoral research associate; and Ann Bellenger, research associate. Over a two-year period, they will document the impact of WIC revisions by surveying food vendor attitudes about healthy food and their participation in the government nutrition program. The researchers also will assess the variety, quality, availability and cost of healthy food purchased with WIC vouchers. They will evaluate those results in the context of market competition, other food outlets, socio-demographic characteristics and income. The number, type and location of WIC-approved vendors in Connecticut will be monitored as well. Stay tuned for updates on this study.
Nutrition Standards Created for New York City Food
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on September 19 new nutrition standards for all food provided by city agencies, according to the Office of the Mayor. The new executive order will cover schools, child care centers, after-school programs, parks, public hospitals, correctional facilities, homeless shelters and senior centers. The policy makes New York City the first major U.S. city to enact such standards.
The standards will encourage suppliers of food for city agencies to improve the nutritional content. They are part of efforts by the city’s Food Policy Task Force to reduce obesity and blood pressure.
“This collaboration between the City Council and the administration will impact the lives of countless New Yorkers who eat in our schools, our senior centers, soup kitchens, and beyond and is a great step forward in fighting the obesity epidemic that is impacting our children and all our residents,” said Bloomberg.
The standards, which will take effect within six months, include:
- Each meal must provide an appropriate range of calories, salt and fiber.
- Water must be available at all meals.
- Juice must be 100% fruit juice and recommended servings should not exceed 8 ounces.
- Lunches and dinners must include at least two servings of vegetables.
- Agencies that serve three meals daily must provide at least five servings of fruits and vegetables.
- Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables should be used in place of canned products, whenever appropriate.
- Deep fryers will be eliminated over time.
- All food purchased and served must have 0 grams trans fat.
"Once again, New York City is a national leader in creating strong food and nutrition related policies. The nutrition standards created for New York City agencies are truly impressive and represent a substantial step beyond any of the current federal guidelines for reimbursable meals and snacks in schools or child care settings,” said Marlene Schwartz, Rudd Center deputy director.
Upcoming Seminar Speakers:
October 20, 12:30 pm: Alberto Cormillot, MD
October 22, 12:30 pm: Derek Yach, MBChB, MPH, DSC
October 29, 12:30 pm: Elizabeth Goodman, MD
November 5, 12:30 pm: James Gustave Speth, JD
Our seminars are held at the Rudd Center, located at 309 Edwards Street in New Haven, Connecticut. They are free and open to the public. The full schedule for our Fall Seminar Series is available online.
To receive a weekly email from the Rudd Center detailing upcoming seminars and schedule changes, please click here.
Rudd Center Director, Kelly Brownell, Joins Institute of Medicine Committee on Childhood Obesity
Kelly Brownell, Rudd Center director, is a member of the Institute of Medicine Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention. Brownell, a member of the IOM, joins a group of distinguished experts addressing critical issues in prevention.
The committee is chaired by Jeffrey P. Koplan, MD, MPH, vice president for global health and the director of the Global Health Institute at Emory University and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Group members include national leaders in public health, public policy, medicine, nutrition, physical activity, pediatrics, obesity prevention, social and behavioral sciences, biostatistics and epidemiology. The academic, government and industry experience of the committee’s members highlight its interdisciplinary approach.
The goal of the committee, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is to initiate state and national policy discussions and research studies about childhood obesity prevention. The Rudd Center will provide updates on the committee’s progress.
Spotlight on Rudd Center Affiliated Faculty: Carlos M. Grilo, PhD
Carlos M. Grilo, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Yale University and the director of the Eating Disorders and Obesity Research Program at the Yale University School of Medicine. His primary clinical research interests include eating and weight disorders, and his secondary interests include personality disorders and psychopathology. He is a regular speaker in the Rudd Center's Seminar Series.
Since 1996, Dr. Grilo’s research and training program has been funded with external grants from the National Institutes of Health and research foundations such as the American Heart Association and the Donaghue Foundation. The program focuses primarily on conducting controlled clinical trials for obesity and disordered eating and testing different cognitive-behavioral, behavioral, nutritional and medication interventions. The program now provides training for four full-time postdoctoral associates and for several part-time advanced psychology trainees.
Dr. Grilo earned his ScB in psychology at Brown University and his MS and PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his internship and a fellowship at the Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital. Dr. Grilo came to Yale University in 1991 as a postdoctoral associate with professors Kelly Brownell and Judith Rodin and served as associate clinical director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders 1991-1993. Dr. Grilo joined the faculty as assistant professor of psychiatry in 1993 and served as director of psychology of the Yale Psychiatric Institute (YPI) 1993-2000. In 2000, after the closing of YPI, Dr. Grilo turned his attention to full-time clinical research.
Dr. Grilo currently serves on the editorial boards of seven leading professional journals, including Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Behaviour Therapy and Research, Obesity, Obesity Surgery, and International Journal of Eating Disorders. Dr. Grilo has published more than 220 peer-reviewed journal articles, including recent papers in American Psychologist, American Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and Journal of Abnormal Psychology. His 2006 book, Eating and Weight Disorders, provides a comprehensive overview of eating disorders and obesity, including diagnosis and treatment. The book is a useful tool for those in the fields of clinical psychology, health psychology and psychiatry.
The Latest Rudd Center Podcasts
Mark V. Roehling, PhD, JD
Associate Professor of Human Resource Management, School of Labor and Industrial Relations, Michigan State University
Promoting Fair and Effective Employment Practices or Contributing to Employee Poor Health? An Interdisciplinary Assessment of Proposed Increased Legal Protection for Overweight Employees
Thomas A. Dziki, LEED® AP
Vice President of Sustainable Development, United Natural Foods, Inc.
Beginning the Sustainable Journey
Mark S. Gold, MD
Donald Dizney Eminent Scholar, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, University of Florida
Could Food Addiction Explain Rising Obesity Rates?
Walter C. Willett, MD, MPH, DrPH
Chair, Department of Nutrition; Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health
Eliminating Trans Fat from the Food Supply: The Tortuous Road from Science to Policy
Our collection of podcasts is available for download on iTunes U, under the Yale University Health & Medicine – Nutrition & Obesity section, or you may subscribe to a 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.