The power of policy; what happens when sweetened beverages are taxed & school meals are legislated to be more nutritious?

Image of soda bottles and veggies

A review of two implemented policies—an excise tax of 1.81 cents/ounce on sweetened beverages in Philadelphia, and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010—shows that both policies had a positive impact on health and health behaviors. Authors of the studies include Harvard Pop Center faculty affiliates Sara Bleich and Steven Gortmaker, and former post-doctoral fellow Christina Roberto. Learn more in this EurekaAlert release.

If trend continues, more than half of U.S. children will be obese by the time they are 35 years old

Heavy set woman sitting on a bench

The results of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by lead author Steven Gortmaker, PhD, reinforce the necessity to implement interventions, policies and programs targeting children that emphasize healthy eating and exercise. Learn  more in this release by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Jason Block comments on US Preventative Services Task Force’s recently revised recommendations on tackling childhood obesity

Harvard Pop Center faculty member Jason Block, MD, and a colleague pen this Editorial in JAMA, sharing their thoughts on the screening, treatment and prevention of childhood obesity in the US. The new recommendations by the expert panel, as well as the Editorial in JAMA, is explored in this piece by the LA Times. Photo:  Gaulsstin on Flickr

Hawkins and Gillman link 3 decades of clinical and public health data to examine disparities in childhood obesity

Former RWJF Health & Society Scholar Summer Hawkins and faculty member Matthew Gillman are co-authors on a BMC Medicine article on the establishment of the Linked CENTURY database. Hawkins, Gillman and their colleagues linked the existing CENTURY ((Collecting Electronic Nutrition Trajectory Data Using Records of Youth) Study, a database of 269,959 children from birth to age 18 years with measured heights and weights, with each child’s Massachusetts birth certificate, which captures…

Tackling child obesity; a call to protect children from lure of sedentary activities & nutrient-poor diet

Harvard Pop Center faculty member and professor of the practice of health sociology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Steven Gortmaker, PhD, is co-author of a study, one of a six-part series devoted to obesity in The Lancet, that calls for policies designed to encourage a nutrient-rich diet and physical activity for children and adolescents.

How can global obesity epidemic be reversed? A call for “smart food policies.”

Harvard RWJF Health & Society Scholar program alumna and current Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health faculty member Christina Roberto, PhD, is lead author of a paper that is one in a six-part series devoted to obesity in The Lancet. The paper has received much attention in the press including articles in Harvard Gazette,, FoxNews, skynews, livescience, medicalnewstoday, The Toronto Star, Huffington Post, and medicalXpress. Learn more from…

Is Juice Gateway Drink to Higher BMI?

Pop Center affiliated faculty members Matthew Gillman, MD, and Elsie Taveras, MD, have published a study in Obesity that examines the significance of beverage consumption during infancy and childhood and found that higher juice intake during infancy (at one year) was associated with higher juice and sugar-sweetened beverage intake and higher BMI during early and mid-childhood. The findings suggest that early juice intake could be a target for obesity prevention,…