President Obama Signs Child Nutrition Bill
President Obama signed into lawthe child nutrition bill, also known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free KidsAct, in December. The bill has been a top priority for First LadyMichelle Obama, who advocated for it as part of her Let's Move campaign.
The bill provides funding to subsidize meals for children fromlower-income families and help communities establish localfarm-to-school networks. It also authorizes the federal government toestablish nutritional standards for all foods sold on school grounds.
Just Published by the Rudd Center
Low-Sugar Cereals just as Popular Among Children as Sugary Cereals
There is good news for parents who fear their children will only eat breakfast if served sugary cereals, according to a new study by the Rudd Center published in the journal Pediatrics.Results indicate that children will eat and enjoy healthier breakfastcereals with low amounts of sugar, especially when served with fruitand a small amount of additional sugar.
The study lookedat 91 school-aged children. The children were given either high- orlow-sugar cereal. Both groups had the option to add sugar and fruit totheir cereal. Children in the low-sugar group consumed a greaterproportion of calories from fresh fruit, whereas added sugar comprisedthe majority of calories in the high-sugar cereal meal.
“Thesefindings show that children will eat low-sugar varieties of cereals.And parents can make these options even more nutritious by adding freshfruit to the bowl,” said Jennifer L. Harris, PhD, MBA, Rudd CenterDirector of Marketing Initiatives, lead author.
“Evenif parents add a small amount of table sugar,” Dr. Harris noted, “thisstrategy would reduce the amount of added sugar in children’s dietswhile promoting a balanced first meal of the day.”
Rudd Center Launches Spring Seminar Series
KevinW. Concannon, Under Secretary of Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Servicesat the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was a speaker in the Fall 2010Seminar Series.
The Rudd Center has hosted manyrenowned experts in academics, public policy, and the media to discusstheir work and its implications for the study of obesity, food policy,and weight bias. The Spring 2011 Seminar Serieswill welcome Brian Wansink from Cornell University and formerly theU.S. Department of Agriculture; Eric Mar, Supervisor on the SanFrancisco Board of Supervisors and the chief supporter of a law to banrestaurants from including toys in kids meals that do not meetnutrition criteria; and Cheryl Healton, President and Chief ExecutiveOfficer of Legacy, producer of the truth® national youth tobaccoprevention counter-marketing campaign.
Upcoming Seminar Speakers
January 19, 12:30 pm
Matthew L. Myers
President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Advocacy Lessons from the Battle to Reduce Tobacco
January 31, 12:30 pm
Brian Wansink, PhD
John Dyson Endowed Chair, Applied Economics and Management Department,Cornell University; Director, Cornell Food and Brand Lab
Mindless Eating Solutions
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 Spring Seminar Series is available online and for download.
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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against McDonald’s Happy Meals
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and a California mother have filed a class action suit against McDonald’sfor deceptive advertising to children through the chain’s practice ofincluding toys with Happy Meals. The lawsuit charges that the toysincluded in Happy Meals attract children to the restaurant andencourage them to develop a preference for nutritionally poor foods ata very young age.
The Rudd Center’s recent Fast Food FACTSreport found that child-targeted marketing by fast food restaurantsworks. Forty percent of parents surveyed reported that their child asksto go to McDonald’s at least once a week while 15% of preschoolers askto go every day.
According to its press release,CSPI first notified McDonald’s in June that it might be the target of alawsuit and offered to meet with executives to reach an agreement andavoid litigation, but McDonald’s refused. McDonald's has pledged tofight the lawsuit.
Dannon Forced to Remove Yogurt Health Claims
Dannon Co. Inc.has agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission and theattorneys general in 39 states over health claims it made in marketingand packaging some of its yogurt products. In addition to removing theclaims, the company will pay $21 million to the states involved in thecase. Dannon cannot make additional claims without the approval of theU.S. Department of Agriculture.
"Consumers want and areentitled to accurate information when it comes to their health,"according to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. "Companies like Dannonshouldn't exaggerate the strength of scientific support for theirproducts."
Other food companies have removed healthclaims from their products. In response to the FDA crackdown onmisleading nutrition claims, the Smart Choices Programannounced in October 2009 that it would “voluntarily postpone activeoperations.” This move came shortly after Connecticut Attorney GeneralRichard Blumenthal announced he was investigating the program. The Kellogg Companyalso reacted to public pressure on misleading labels in November 2009by discontinuing the immunity health claims on Rice Krispies cerealboxes.
Rudd Center Spotlight: Matthew L. Myers
MatthewL. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, will discussadvocacy lessons from the battle to reduce tobacco use on January 19during the Rudd Center’s Spring 2011 Seminar Series.
Forover 25 years, Mr. Myers has participated in many nationaltobacco-related legislative efforts, working with tobacco preventionadvocates and officials across the country. He served on the firstadvisory committee on tobacco issues for the Director General of theWorld Health Organization. Named by President Clinton in 1999, Mr.Myers co-chaired a Presidential Commission to examine the economicproblems experienced by tobacco farmers and their communities andrecommend solutions.
Mr. Myers was bestowed with theHarvard School of Public Health’s prestigious Julius B. Richmond awardfor his work as an advocate preventing tobacco industry marketing tochildren, and the American Cancer Society’s highest award, the Medal ofHonor for Cancer Control, for his relentless work to eliminate tobaccouse.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Mills Meets the Mark
Soon after the release of the Rudd Center’s Cereal FACTS report on the nutrition and marketing of cereal to youth, General Mills announced its plan to reduce the grams of sugar in cereals advertised to children under 12 to single-digits per serving. The company announced that the changes were to go into effect by the end of 2010.
The Latest Rudd Center Podcasts
Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH
Professor of Epidemiology, Associate Dean for Health Promotion andDisease Prevention, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
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 Feedthat automatically updates when new content is released. Podcasts canbe listened to on a computer or downloaded to a music player.