This past week we had the opportunity to interact with a
distinguished guest at the Institute for Health Research at Kaiser
Permanente Colorado (the home base for our Cancer Communication
Dr. Kelly Brownell - the director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy
and Obesity and the James Rowland Angell Professor of
Psychology at Yale University has led a number of successful
research efforts that led to substantial social and policy action
including changes in labeling of foods in restaurants in New York
and work around sugary beverages.
When describing the main ingredient of their success - he
highlighted the importance of engaging in policy-driven strategic
science instead of the more commonly practiced research-driven
programmatic science. His work can be characterized as
proactive, forward thinking, at times risky, practically relevant,
and informed by key stakeholders (i.e., legislators). The design of
his research studies reflect his creative thinking process and
often involve policy and media analysis and simple but clever
observational studies. The results from these studies are
communicated in ways that are relevant and easy to use for social
and policy action.
His Center's website (http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/) hosts a number
of excellent resources and examples for strategic science including
a revenue calculator for sugar sweetened beverage taxes (http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/sodatax.aspx).
Staff Researcher/Research Coordinator