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

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

Ethical considerations of food and beverage warnings; weighing the pros and cons

Harvard Bell Fellow Anna Grummon, PhD, and colleagues (including Harvard Pop Center faculty members Jason Block and Sara Bleich) evaluate the ethical strengths and weaknesses of food and beverage warnings (aimed to help prevent obesity and improve health) by looking through the lens of a public health ethics framework. Their findings are published in the … Continue reading “Ethical considerations of food and beverage warnings; weighing the pros and cons”

Prevention may be worth much more than pound of cure to tackle obesity trends

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that utilized state-level data projects that by 2030 almost 50% of U.S. adults will be obese, with some states coming in higher than 50% and no state at a level below 35%. Harvard Pop Center faculty members Steven Gortmaker, PhD, and Sara Bleich, PhD, are … Continue reading “Prevention may be worth much more than pound of cure to tackle obesity trends”

When is the best time to prevent early childhood obesity?

Harvard Pop Center faculty members Tracy Richmond, Mauricio Avendano, and Ichiro Kawachi, along with their colleague Inyang A. Isong, have published a study that takes a longitudinal look at the weight and growth status of kindergarten-aged children from various racial/ethnic backgrounds. Photo: Courtesy of Penn State on Flickr

Mother’s education level linked to child’s risk of obesity

A mother’s education level has been found to be linked to her offspring’s body mass index (BMI) as early as three years of age in three European countries. The recent findings by Harvard Pop Center affiliates (faculty member Mauricio Avendano, Bell Fellow Emilie Courtin, and former visiting scientist Cathal McCrory) and their colleagues have been … Continue reading “Mother’s education level linked to child’s risk of obesity”

Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is down, but still too high among some groups

A study by Harvard Pop Center faculty member Sara Bleich, PhD, published in the journal Obesity finds that while the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is on the decline among both children and adults, it is still too high among adolescents and young adults, and certain racial and ethnic minority populations. Learn more in The … Continue reading “Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is down, but still too high among some groups”

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 … Continue reading “Jason Block comments on US Preventative Services Task Force’s recently revised recommendations on tackling childhood obesity”

Believing that foods can be addictive is associated with supporting obesity-related public policies

Harvard RWJF Health & Society Scholars program alumna Christina Roberto, PhD, is an author on a study in Preventive Medicine that suggests that if certain foods can be shown to be addictive, it may be an effective way to strengthen obesity-related policy support. Photo: Patrick Q on Flickr