The California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP) provides CalFresh shoppers a dollar-for-dollar match when purchasing California-grown fruits and vegetables at participating Certified Farmers Markets and small food stores. Over 4.6 million Californians with low-income receive money to spend on food through CalFresh, also known as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) researchers conducted an evaluation of the CNIP program operating at California farmers' markets in 2018. Interviews were conducted with 386 CalFresh shoppers from ten farmers' markets offering maximum incentives ranging from $0 to $20, and from nine nearby supermarkets not offering incentives. Researchers found that CalFresh CNIP shoppers who reported using more of the match incentive reported lower levels of food insecurity. Additionally, farmers' market shoppers consumed more fruits and vegetables than supermarket shoppers, though no differences in consumption were found between CNIP and non-CNIP shoppers. Program participants expressed consistent and overwhelmingly positive appreciation for the CNIP program. “I'm eating better because I can afford to get fresh food, fresh vegetables and fruit that I wouldn't get otherwise,” said one CalFresh shopper about the CNIP program, “It gives me a chance to taste and to eat foods that I might not otherwise be exposed to, and foods that I wouldn't feel like I could afford." Despite the overwhelming support for the CNIP program from those using it, researchers found that fewer than one-in-five supermarket shoppers were aware of the CNIP program; after learning about CNIP, nearly all said they would be likely to use it. Findings from the evaluation are available in an online research brief. The research was led by NPI researchers Wendi Gosliner, Ron Strochlic, and Sridharshi Hewawitharana and included UC Berkeley graduate student researchers Celeste Felix and Caroline Long. The evaluation was funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
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Research brief shares findings from an evaluation of the California Nutrition Incentive Program at Farmers’ Market
Donate on #GivingTuesday to support NPI in conducting policy-relevant research to fight food insecurity and support nutrition programs for California’s most vulnerable populationsNov 17, 2020
#GivingTuesday invites you to join a movement to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the holiday season. SAVE THE DATE - Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 - this year's #GivingTuesday. Your support can really make a difference in helping the University of California's Nutrition Policy Institute fight food insecurity and support nutrition programs for California's most vulnerable populations. You can help ensure access to healthy food and nutrition programs for millions of children. In this critical time, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased health disparities and put low-income families at great risk. NPI is conducting research aimed at creating systemic change in order to improve low-income children's health and opportunities for a brighter future. With your help, we can continue to tackle the most pressing issues of our time and ensure equitable access to healthy food for children, families, and our communities. For over 20 years, NPI has conducted research and provided policymakers with data to support the provision of healthier foods for children in childcare, schools, and federal food programs. Support NPI today!
Fewer state regulations exist for family child care homes compared to child care centers on supporting breastfeeding and healthy beverages according to latest NPI study
Nearly half of young children in the United States participate in licensed child care settings, where they can consume up to two-thirds of their daily dietary intake. Thus, these are important settings in which young children are provided beverages that support their health. A recent study conducted by Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) in collaboration with the Public Health Law Center, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health suggests that family child care homes have fewer state regulations that support breastfeeding and healthy beverage provision compared to child care centers. This is of concern as low-income families are more likely to rely on home child care providers than on centers to provide care for their young children. The authors conclude the study by encouraging policymakers to ensure state child care regulations are in place to help child care providers support breastfeeding families and to provide healthy beverages to all children, regardless of whether they are in a center or home. The study, titled "Alignment of State Regulations With Breastfeeding and Beverage Best Practices for Childcare Centers and Family Childcare Homes, United States", was published online on November 9, 2020 in the journal Public Health Reports. Study co-authors include NPI researchers Danielle Lee, Raquel Traseria, Sophia Navarro, Lorrene Ritchie, and policy director Ken Hecht; Natasha Frost of the Public Health Law Center; Sara Benjamin Neelon of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Angie Cradock of the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Nutrition standards in family child care settings published in 95th Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series proceedings
Not all child care settings have nutrition standards for infants as they transition to toddlerhood. Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) researchers, in collaboration with Nourish California (previously known as California Food Policy Advocates), convened a group of science advisors and child care community advisors in 2015 to develop infant and toddler nutrition standards feasible for family child care home providers to implement. The process of developing nutrition recommendations on what foods and beverages to serve and how to feed infants and toddlers in licensed family child care home settings was published online on November 9, 2020, in a chapter featured in the Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series, volume 95, titled "Building Future Health and Well-Being of Thriving Toddlers and Young Children". The 95th Nestlé Nutrition Institute Workshop, which took place as a 3-day virtual workshop in September 2020, explored the current scientific research of creating a healthy foundation for life in toddlers and young children. Co-authors of the chapter included NPI researchers Lorrene Ritchie and Danielle Lee, Elyse Homel Vital of the Childcare Food Program Roundtable (formerly with California Food Policy Advocates), and NPI-affiliated researcher Lauren Au of the University of California, Davis, Department of Nutrition. Ritchie's presentation from the workshop is also available online.
NPI study about perceptions and use of the Earned Income Tax Credit is presented at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management ConferenceNov 13, 2020Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) can provide up to $10,000 annually for qualifying California families, but estimates suggest that about 20% of eligible families do not receive the benefits. Wendi Gosliner, a researcher at the Nutrition Policy Institute, and her University of California (UC), Berkeley and UC San Francisco colleagues presented preliminary findings from a study exploring perceptions and use of the EITC among families with young children in California at the 2020 virtual Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) annual research conference on November 11, 2020. The study—which is being conducted virtually throughout California—is finding that about half of the eligible families do not know about and are not participating in the EITC. Even among families receiving the benefit, there is substantial confusion about why and how they received it. The study was co-presented at APPAM with study collaborators Lia Fernald of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and Rita Hamad of UC San Francisco.
Lorrene Ritchie quoted in UPI and The Washington Newsday articles on how to increase pre-school children’s interest in fruit and vegetables
Lorrene Ritchie, director and UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) specialist at the Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI), was quoted in an article on November 6, 2020 in UPI titled "Mindfulness-based program boosts preschoolers' interest in fruit, veggies" and another article on November 9, 2020 in The Washington Newsday titled "A program based on mindfulness increases preschool children's interest in fruit and vegetables." The articles highlight a recent study conducted by researchers at Purdue University on a mindfulness-based exercise program to encourage preschool children to make healthier food choices. Dr. Ritchie, who was not involved in the study, is quoted, "Repeated exposure of young children to fruits and vegetables is key to getting them to like them and eat them. It can take up to 20 times – and even more for some children – for a child to learn to like a new food, especially vegetables and other things that aren't sweet, salty or high in fat.”
Save the date: Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit hosted virtually by UC Davis, March 25-26, 2021
We hope you will join us virtually for the 16th annual Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit on March 25-26, 2021. Universities Fighting World Hunger is a network of global universities working in partnership to amplify the voice of the rising generation, calling for a world free from hunger and malnutrition. This year's summit is hosted by the University of California (UC), Davis. The theme is One Health, One Planet, emphasizing the interdependency between food and climate change. More details about the summit will be available online soon. The Summit is being coordinated by the UC Global Food Initiative, UC Davis World Food Center, Universities Fighting World Hunger, and the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute.
Infographic on increasing drinking water availability in schools during COVID-19 and beyond released by Alliance for a Healthier Generation and National Drinking Water AllianceNov 4, 2020
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires schools to make potable water available at no charge to students, wherever lunch is served, and when breakfast is served in the cafeteria. For school year 2020-2021, the United States Department of Agriculture allows some flexibilities but continues to require potable water be made available when lunch is served at school and encourages schools to make potable water available in all meal service locations, as safety permits. The National Drinking Water Alliance, coordinated by the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI), in collaboration with Alliance for a Healthier Generation, released a new infographic for schools to support increased access to drinking water for students. The infographic, titled "Increasing Drinking Water Availability in Schools During COVID-19 and Beyond", is available for download online. It showcases a variety of ways that schools can make water easily available throughout the campus. It includes tips and links to resources on ensuring safe access to drinking water for schools that are reopening, water testing and sanitation. The infographic also provides links to resources in English and Spanish for schools to promote drinking water to students and improve students' healthy hydration habits.
Fact sheet on boosting school meal participation released by NPI, Stanford Pediatrics and School Nutrition AssociationNov 4, 2020
School meals are an essential source of nutritious food for many children, particularly low-income children, across the nation, whether schools are providing in-person, distance or hybrid education during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many districts are experiencing decreased participation in school meal programs. In an effort to support school districts in increasing school meal participation – and thus improve children's food security during the pandemic – the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) partnered with Stanford Medicine Department of Pediatrics and the School Nutrition Association to develop a fact sheet for school districts. Titled "Boosting School Meal Participation - Tips from Districts", it provides a checklist of strategies for school meal pick-ups, ways to offer more meals, keeping meals appealing, communication to families, and ideas for community partnerships. The fact sheet includes an update on nationwide waivers issued by the United States Department of Agriculture that provide flexibilities to school nutrition services during the pandemic. It also highlights resources from collaborating organizations including recipes and menu-planning, back-to-school and reopening planning, virtual nutrition education, and more. The fact sheet is available for download online. The authors of and contributors to the fact sheet, including NPI's Christina Hecht, are members of the ad hoc COVID-19 School Nutrition Implications Working Group, jointly supported by Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN). This project was funded by the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund COVID-19 Response Cluster, managed by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation.
Systematic review and meta-analysis of childhood obesity interventions for preschool children aged 2-5 years
Extensive efforts to review the evidence of childhood obesity prevention programs have been made by the scientific community. However, most meta-analyses have included only randomized, control trials, do not allow for examination of sub-components of interventions, and do not examine sub-populations that may be impacted (or not) by interventions. Lorrene Ritchie, director and cooperative extension specialist of the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI), collaborated with researchers from across the United States to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to fill these gaps. The systematic review and meta-analysis, and an accompanying paper describing the methods used to develop a taxonomy for childhood obesity interventions to use in the meta-analysis, were published in the journal Childhood Obesity. The review includes 51 studies evaluating 58 interventions that, overall, showed a lower BMI for preschool children participating in the interventions compared to children who did not receive interventions. The review and meta-analysis also suggest that the childhood obesity interventions that were most successful included engaging caregivers in praise/encouragement for positive health-related behavior; providing education about the importance of screen time reduction to caregivers; and engaging pediatricians and health care providers. The systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted in collaboration by Lori Scott-Sheldon, Larry Hedges, Chris Cyr, Deborah Young-Hyman, Mackenzie Magnus, Heather King, Sonia Arteaga, John Crawley, Christina Economos, Debra Hair-Joshu, Christine Hunter, Bruce Lee, Shiriki Kumanyika, Thomas Robinson and Marlene Schwartz. The taxonomy methods paper was written in collaboration by Heather King, Mackenzie Magnus, Larry Hedges, Deborah Young-Hyman, Laura Kettel Khan, Lori Scott-Sheldon, Jason Saul, Sonia Arteaga, John Cawley, Christina Economos, Debra Haire-Joshu, Christine Hunter, Bruce Lee, Shiriki Kumanyika, Thomas Robinson, and Marlen Schwartz.
New NPI study shows WIC participant preferences align with national recommendations to increase fruits and vegetables in the WIC food package
In 2017, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released comprehensive recommendations to update the food packages provided by the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to align with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). The recommendations were to decrease the amount of some foods currently offered by WIC (100% fruit or vegetable juice, milk, and legumes), add foods either not offered or offered in very small amounts relative to the DGAs (fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and canned fish), increase the WIC package flexibility, and ensure the food package is culturally appropriate. The proposed changes are cost-neutral, and will save approximately $220 million program-wide from 2018 to 2022. Researchers from the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) collaborated with the California Department of Public Health and Public Health Foundation Enterprises WIC program to conduct a survey of nearly 3,000 California WIC participants with children aged 1-4 years in 2019 to understand if the recommended changes to the child food package were aligned with their preferences. Results from this collaborative study were published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Survey results show that most families on WIC wanted an increase in the $9 cash value voucher (CVV) to purchase fruits and vegetables and a majority would be willing to receive more fruits and vegetables instead of juice. Most participants were interested in adding canned fish to their child's food package and were also satisfied with the amount of beans, peanut butter, and milk offered by WIC. The study was conducted by NPI-affiliated researcher Lauren Au of the University of California, Davis; NPI researchers Lorrene Ritchie, Marisa Tsai, and Hallie Randel-Schreiber; Catherine Martinez and Shannon Whaley of Public Health Foundation Enterprise WIC; and Patricia Gradziel and Susan Sabatier from the California Department of Public Health. The study was funded by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the California Department of Public Health WIC Division.
Nov 1, 2020
The Notah Begay III Foundation is holding their annual “Zero to 60” Challenge over the month of November. Can you drink more water (60 oz.) and eliminate all sugary drinks daily for one month? Sign up here to register, and check out Notah Begay III Foundation's associated resources:
Tips for Success: strategies to help you keep it up and to spread the word
Pledge form with Tracker
Sugar facts: The Effects of Sugar on Your Body
The mission of the Notah Begay III Foundation is to ensure that Native children achieve their full potential by advancing cultures of Native American community health.
Nutrition Policy Institute researchers present at the American Public Health Association's 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting and Expo
The American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo is the largest yearly gathering of public health professionals. This year, the annual meeting is being held virtually October 24-28, 2020. Researchers from the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute will be presenting their work on a variety of collaborative food and nutrition policy studies related to the child care food environment, school meals, the federal Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and more. A full list of on-demand poster presentations and live oral presentations is below.
Child care food environment:
- California childcare centers and homes in the federal child and adult care food program offer more nutritious foods to infants
Presenters: Danielle Lee, Klara Gurzo, Lilly Nhan, Elyse Homel Vitale, Sallie Yoshida, Lorrene Ritchie
- Online training increases child care provider knowledge of healthy beverage policy and practices for young children
Presenters: Kaela Plank, Danielle Lee, Abbey Alkon, Marisa Neelon, L. Karina Diaz Rios, Katherine Soule, Lorrene Ritchie
- Impact of a district-wide chocolate milk removal policy on students' milk selection and consumption
Presenters: Hannah Thompson, Lorrene Ritchie, Kristine Madsen, Esther Park, Wendi Gosliner
Oral presentation, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 8:15-8:30 AM PDT
- Families with children 1-5 years old: WIC program perspectives on nutrition education and food benefits
Presenters: Marisa Tsai, Lorrene Ritchie, Shannon Whaley, Catherine Martinez, Martha Meza, Lauren Au, Hallie Randel-Schreiber, Susan Sabatier
Oral presentation, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 8:00-8:15 AM PDT
- Children on WIC followed through age 4 years: What are they eating?
Presenters: Lorrene Ritchie, Lauren Au, Shannon Whaley, Christine Borger
Oral presentation, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 9:30-9:50 AM PDT
- Feeding beliefs and practices among low-income caregivers: Findings from year 4 of the WIC infant and toddler feeding practices study-2
Presenters: Courtney Paolicelli, Christine Borger, Lorrene Ritchie, Shannon Whaley
Oral presentation, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 9:50-10:10 AM PDT
- Prevalence of overweight and obesity among children receiving WIC
Presenters: Christine Borger, Shannon Whaley, Lorrene Ritchie
Oral presentation, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 10:10-10:30 AM PDT
- Longer participation in WIC is associated with healthier outcomes for children at age 4 years
Presenters: Shannon Whaley, Christine Borger, Lauren Au, Lorrene Ritchie
Oral presentation, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 10:30-10:50 AM PDT
- Exploring housing and food insecurity among California university students: A holistic and comprehensive definition of students' basic needs
Presenters: Suzanna Martinez, Erin Esaryk, Laurel Moffat, Lorrene Ritchie
Oral presentation, Tuesday, October 27, 12:00-12:15 PM PDT
- Healthy default beverages in kids' meals: Evaluating policy implementation and impact in California and Delaware
Presenters: Allison Karpyn, Wendi Gosliner, Laura Lessard, Kathleen McCallops, Marisa Tsai, Tara Tracy, Phoebe Harpainter, Danielle Lee, Anna Martin, Lorrene Ritchie, Gail Woodward-Lopez
Oral presentation, Tuesday, October 27, 4:45-5:00 PM PDT
- Perceived produce availability and child fruit and vegetable intake: The healthy communities study
Presenters: Laurel Moffat, Lorrene Ritchie, Wendi Gosliner, Kaela Plank, Lauren Au
Oral presentation, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 10:15-10:30 AM PDT
- Limited progress found in healthy checkout among food stores in economically disadvantaged California neighborhoods, 2011-2017
Presenters: Wendi Gosliner, Sriddharshi Hewawitharana, Janice Kao, Sadie Costello, Gail Woodward-Lopez
- A replication study of school-based SNAP-ed programmatic efforts to address student nutrition and physical activity outcomes
Presenters: John Pugliese, Lauren Whetstone, Sridharshi Hewawitharana, Gail Woodward-Lopez
- California childcare centers and homes in the federal child and adult care food program offer more nutritious foods to infants
Lorrene Ritchie presents on transitional feeding of infants in child care at the 95th Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop
Children in child care can consume up to two-thirds of their daily nutrition in these settings, and healthy feeding practices and obesity prevention efforts in childcare can support childrens' health later in life. Lorrene Ritchie, director of the Nutrition Policy Institute and University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) specialist, is a leading expert in the field of infant and toddler feeding. Ritchie presented findings on transitional feeding practices for infants in child care – with a focus on family child care home settings – to attendees of the 95th Nestlé Nutrition Institute Workshop - Building Future Health and well-being of thriving toddlers and young children. The workshop was hosted virtually September 14-16, 2020. Ritchie's presentation was titled “Transition from breastfeeding and complementary feeding to toddler nutrition in childcare settings.” Ritchie shared findings from collaborative research on infant and child nutrition and feeding practice standards for child care providers with NPI researcher Danielle Lee, Lauren Au of the University of California, Davis, and Elyse Homel Vitale of the Childcare Food Program Roundtable. A recording of Ritchie's presentation is available for viewing online.
Nutrition Policy Institute's Lorrene Ritchie, director and University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) specialist, has been studying the diet quality of low-income children enrolled in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). This research is part of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study (WIC ITFPS-2), also known as the "Feeding My Baby" study. Ritchie and her research colleagues Christine Borger of Westat, Inc., Courtney Paolicelli of the USDA Food and Nutrition Services, and Shannon Whaley of Public Health Foundation Enterprise WIC, presented the latest findings from children enrolled in WIC at age four years during the virtual National WIC Association Nutrition Education and Breastfeeding Promotion Annual Conference on September 10, 2020. Their presentation was titled, “Now we are four! Findings at age four from the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study (WIC ITFPS-2)."
Lorrene Ritchie receives additional funding to study diet quality of children participating in the Women, Infants and Children program through 9 years of age
The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides nutritious foods, information on healthy eating including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care to over 6.3 million low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 in the US. Nutrition Policy Institute's (NPI) Lorrene Ritchie is the Co-Principal Investigator of the national WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (ITFPS-2), which received additional funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in partnership with Westat, Inc. to extend data collection for children up to 9 years of age enrolled in the national WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (ITFPS-2). Ritchie and her NPI research team will contribute to the investigation of dietary practices and the health and nutritional status of children in this cohort during their ninth year of life. This project builds off the WIC ITFPS-2 study funded by the USDA Food and Nutrition Services, which began in 2011. The study extension begins in October 2020 and continues for five years.
Wendi Gosliner receives grant to support increased procurement of California grown fruits, vegetables, and nuts in California state prisons
Nutrition Policy Institute's Wendi Gosliner was awarded a $439,345 California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Specialty Crop Block Grant to partner with Impact Justice and ChangeLab Solutions to increase demand for California-grown fruits, vegetables and nuts in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) state prisons. The CDCR is the largest California state food purchaser, with over $150 million in purchases annually. The project will educate CDCR stakeholders about the benefits of procuring and serving more California grown specialty crops; work with stakeholders to develop policy and systems-level changes to promote procurement of California grown specialty crops; and work with formerly incarcerated individuals to understand opportunities and barriers to increasing consumption of California grown specialty crops in CDCR facilities and to provide them with nutrition education. The project broadly will reach 120,000 incarcerated people. The two-year project begins November 2020.
New NPI research shows that SNAP-Ed CalFresh Healthy Living school-based interventions are associated with better cardiovascular fitness in students
Daily physical activity supports youth physical and phychosocial health and is also important for obesity prevention. Schools are an important location for physical activity promotion and obesity prevention given youth spend up to half of their waking hours in school. The latest study from Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) researchers suggests that United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed, and known asCalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL) in California) physical activity interventions at school-sites are associated with slightly lower body mass index (BMI) and greater cardiovascular fitness in students compared to sites that did not receive these interventions. Further, schools with higher intervention levels had students with the highest cardiovascular fitness levels. Interventions included physical activity-related direct education, where students were actively engaged with an educator; indirect education, where students received information or resources related to physical activity; or changes to the school or district's physical activity related policies, systems, and/or environments (PSE). Student-level FitnessGram(R) data from between 2015-2016 was obtained from the California Department of Education for the study. Researchers compared BMI and student cardiovascular fitness levels from over 97,000 fifth and seventh grade students from 904 California public schools that implemented the SNAP-Ed physical activity interventions to over 372,000 fifth and seventh grade students from 3,506 California public schools that did not implement the interventions. These findings are important as the California Department of Public Health's Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch distributes over $50 million in CFHL funding to local health departments to implement physical activity and nutrition interventions, which primarily occur in the public school setting. Also, California has more public schools than any other US state. The study was published online in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports. The study was conducted by NPI's Hannah Thompson, Sridharshi Hewawitharana, Janice Kao, Carolyn Rider, Evan Talmage, Wendi Gosliner and Gail Woodward-Lopez in collaboration with Lauren Whetstone of the California Department of Public Health. The study was funded by the California Department of Public Health, with funding from the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The full study is available online.
Hannah Thompson and Lorrene Ritchie quoted in The Daily Californian article on USDA school meal participation study
Lorrene Ritchie, director and UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) specialist at the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI), Hannah Thompson, NPI epidemiologist and research scientist at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, and Marisa Neelon, UCCE nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor, were quoted in an October 12, 2020 article in The Daily Californian titled "UC Berkeley study shows intervention affect school lunch participation." The article highlights a collaborative three-year study with San Francisco Unified School District Student Nutrition Services (SFUSD SNS) to evaluate a dining redesign intervention with the goal of increasing school lunch participation among SFUSD middle and high school students. The article highlights research findings that were published in two journals, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and Childhood Obesity. Dr. Thompson is quoted, “While interventions helped stave off the decline of student lunch participation, a big conclusion of this study is that larger economic policies and conditions are actually much more impactful on participation.” Dr. Ritchie is quoted, "We found that these positive perceptions towards school lunch also increased reports of consumption of fruits and vegetables among students very modestly.” Neelon added, “Increasing participation and consumption of school meals can potentially address the shortfall in adolescent's intake of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the closure of schools due to COVID-19 has elevated the importance of school meals to meet the nutritional needs of food-insecure families.” The study was funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) through a grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). Read the full article online.
NPI research on school milk policies to reduce students' added sugar intake featured in Feedstuffs articleOct 1, 2020
Schools across the US are removing chocolate milk from their offerings in an effort to reduce students' added sugar intake and support their long-term health. University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) researchers' latest study exploring the effects of these policies on students' milk intake was featured in an article in Feedstuffs. The article highlights the researchers findings that chocolate milk removal policies produced no significant reductions in average intake per student of calcium, protein or vitamin D from milk and that added sugar consumption from milk declined significantly, by 3.1 g per student. The study was conducted by NPI affiliated researchers Hannah Thompson and Esther Park from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in collaboration with NPI researchers Lorrene Ritchie and Wendi Gosliner, and Kristine Madsen from the Berkeley Food Institute and UC Berkeley School of Public Health.