Diet and Nutrition

One of MyVoice’s co-founders, research assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health (and proud Instagram dog mom), Kendrin Sonneville, ScD, RD, provided written testimony to the Massachusetts state legislature on House Bill, 1195: An Act Protecting Children From Harmful Diet Pills and Muscle-Building Supplements  (HB1195) , which was introduced as legislation prohibiting the sale of dietary supplements for weight loss or muscle building to minors under the age of 18.

In her testimony, Kendrin 100% name drops MyVoice! Part of the testimony reads,

While the opinions of health professionals like myself should factor into health-related policy decisions, the youth perspective cannot be overlooked. Policies and practices that affect young people rarely take into account the youth they are designed to benefit. Kendrin includes a synthesis of MyVoice participants’ viewpoints on restricting access to weight loss and muscle-building products for minors, Most adolescents supported restricting access to weight loss products (71%) and muscle-building products (79%) to individuals under 18 years of age for reasons including risk of addiction, disruption of development, and bod image-related concerns. She included several direct quotes from MyVoice participants, including, “It should be illegal to sell to minors since they don’t often understand what is in these drugs. Also, it’s easier to seduce a child into buying such products as opposed to an adult” “There haven’t been enough tests done on people under 18” “Their bodies are still developing and the side effects can be very harmful to this age group. They also might not be informed about the side effects”

Dr. Sonneville’s testimony was one of several expert written statements, assembled by the Out of Kids’ Hands Campaign, organized by the Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorder at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where Sonneville serves as a collaborating mentor. Their statements were submitted to each member of the Joint Committee on Public Health during the H.1195 hearing on Oct. 17, 2017.

Way to go Kendrin and thank you to all the youth who contributed their viewpoints on this important public health legislation!

MyVoice member Ivana represented the team at the national conference of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) in Toronto on April, 2019. Ivana conducted research on youth perceptions of the nutritional information provided on restaurant and fast food menus.

Presentations and Publications

Youths’ Perceptions of Nutritional Information on Menus: A National Mixed-Method Survey.

Khreizat I, Wood G, Chang T. Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference, Toronto, Canada. April 2019.

Youth Perspectives on Effectiveness, Safety, and Regulation of Products to Control Weight/Shape

Sonneville KR, Nichols LP, Chang T. Eating Disorders Research Society Annual Meeting, Leipzig, Germany. September 2017.


“It’s Healthy Because It’s Natural.” Perceptions of “Clean” Eating among Us Adolescents and Emerging Adults

Ambwani S, Sellinger G, Rose KL, Richmond TK, Sonneville KR. Nutrients. 2020 Jun;12(6):1708.


Family Physicians’ Knowledge and Beliefs Regarding the Health Effects of Added Sugar

Mackey CN, Plegue MA, Deames ME, Kittle MC, Sonneville K, Chang T. Family physicians’ knowledge and beliefs regarding the health effects of added sugar. SAGE Open Med. 2018 Sep 19;6:2050312118801245. PMCID: PMC6146324

“It’s Healthy Because It’s Natural.” Perceptions of “Clean” Eating among Us Adolescents and Emerging Adults

Ambwani S, Sellinger G, Rose KL, Richmond TK, Sonneville KR. International Conference on Eating Disorders, Virtual Conference. June 2020.

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