Nutrition Policy Institute
Nutrition Policy Institute
Nutrition Policy Institute
University of California
Nutrition Policy Institute

2018 News Archives

December 19, 2018

New study contributes to understanding of how food insecurity affects college students' health and well-being

A new study authored by Anthony Meza, Emily Altman, Suzanna Martinez and Cindy Leung contributes to our understanding of how food insecurity affects students' health and well-being. Titled “It’s a Feeling That One Is Not Worth Food”: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Psychosocial Experience and Academic Consequences of Food Insecurity Among College Students, the study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, consisted of in-depth qualitative interviews with 25 undergraduate students from a large public university in California who were recruited from a campus food pantry. Students discussed several themes related to the psychosocial effects of food insecurity: the stress of food insecurity interfering with daily life, a fear of disappointing family, resentment of students in more stable food and financial situations, an inability to develop meaningful social relationships, sadness from reflecting on food insecurity, feeling hopeless or undeserving of help, and frustration directed at the academic institution for not providing enough support. Students also discussed how food insecurity affected their academic performance through physical manifestations of hunger and the mental trade-off between focusing on food and focusing on academics. These findings build on a previous study and can help inform how universities support students’ basic needs.



December 17, 2018

In Remembrance of Joanne Ikeda, 1944-2018

Joanne Ikeda was a Cooperative Extension nutritionist in the Department of Nutrition and Toxicology at UC Berkeley for nearly 35 years. She was highly respected for her research on the food habits of minority populations living in California. She provided guidance in nutrition education and counseling. In addition, Joanne was an early champion of a relatively new approach to weight management entitled Health at Every Size (HAES). This approach in the clinical treatment of obesity was seen as an important paradigm shift in the field of obesity.

In the HAES movement and in other ways, Joanne distinguished herself as a visionary thinker. She developed new solutions and approaches to problems. She knew how to bring her ideas to fruition. She, along with Sharon Fleming and Pat Crawford co-founded the Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley. This was the first Extension center of its kind in the nation. The Center facilitated interactions among researchers, policy makers and community-based providers from various disciplines and institutions concerned about weight, health and food security. The Center became known nationally for the development and distribution of culturally sensitive nutrition education materials, for innovative studies on childhood overweight and policy work to improve nutrition and reduce disparities. While the Center for Weight and Health is no longer in operation at UC Berkeley, the Center’s projects and Joanne’s mentees were foundational in the creation of a new UC ANR institute, the Nutrition Policy Institute

Joanne’s many colleagues and friends at the Nutrition Policy Institute will miss the wisdom, energy, passion and vision she had for using nutrition as a vehicle to improve people’s lives. 

Instead of flowers, Joanne requested donations in her name be made to the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Foundation at or 9100 Purdue Road, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46268.



December 6, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Overview of the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources 4H; Master Gardener; Master Food Preserver; and Nutrition, Family & Consumer Sciences Programs

UC ANR Statewide Programs are organized to focus research and extension on solving priority problems in the management of California agriculture, natural resources and human development. Meet the UC ANR program directors for the Master Gardener Program (Missy Gable), 4H Youth Development Program (Shannon Horrillo), and Master Food Preserver and Nutrition, Family & Consumer Sciences programs (Katie Panarella), and learn how UC ANR is working to integrate programs to support food literacy, healthy eating and improved food security for Californians. Hear the presentation and view the slides.



November 29 - December 2, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie to participate in KFLA's Global Summit on Food Security and Thriving Communities

Lorrene Ritchie will participate in the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance's Global Summit on Food Security and Thriving Communities, an international, interdisciplinary gathering of more than 200 Kellogg Foundation Leadership Fellows, community leaders, changemakers, funders, and experts who will examine food as the gateway to address the complex, cross-sector challenges that communities face today.



November 29, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie invited to speak at University of Missouri

Lorrene Ritchie has been invited to speak at the University of Missouri as part of the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology's fall 2018 seminar series. She will speak on Childcare Nutrition in California: Conducting Research to Inform Policy.



November 11-14, 2018

Nutrition Policy Institute at APHA 2018 Annual Meeting

The Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) will present its research on a range of topics at the APHA 2018 Annual Meeting, the largest annual gathering of public health professionals, held in San Diego this year. NPI's presentations include on November 11: Trends in Nutritional Quality among SNAP-Eligible Mothers and their Children in California  (researchers: John Pugliese, Lauren Whetstone, Wendi Gosliner, Gail Woodward-Lopez, and Sridharshi Hewawitharana); on November 13: What SNAP-Ed PSE strategies do communities use to improve health equity for low-income Californians? (researchers: Janice Kao, Gail Woodward-Lopez, Christina Becker, and Lauren Whetstone); and on November 14: both Mother-Child Differences in Nutritional Quality among Low-Income Latinos (researchers: John Pugliese, Lauren Whetstone, Wendi Gosliner, Gail Woodward-Lopez, and Sridharshi Hewawitharana) and Raising Public Awareness about Food Waste: The Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of California's Inaugural Food Waste Prevention Week (researchers: Tracy Delaney, Stephanie Caldwell, Joyce Lee, and Wendi Gosliner).



November 9, 2018

Research to Action examines child nutrition in the preschool years

The November 2018 issue of the Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) Research to Action news brief examines child nutrition in the preschool years, which influences the development of food preferences, dietary patterns, and health outcomes later in life. Read about NPI’s leading research on child nutrition and find out how you can help support and improve nutrition standards for child care centers and homes.



November 8, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Reports from student summer interns

This special NPI Brown Bag will feature talks by three NPI summer interns who are Master of Public Health candidates at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Joyce M. Lee will talk about “Recruitment & Data Collection: Lessons Learned from the Market Match Evaluation,” Katie Bern will present her summer projects at the National Drinking Water Alliance and Melanie Colvin will discuss her work on the Healthy Beverages in Child Care project.



November 1, 2018

Suzanna Martinez begins new role as assistant professor at UCSF

Suzanna Martinez, longtime assistant researcher at the Nutrition Policy Institute, begins a new position on November 1, 2018 as assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Bioststatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research interests include investigating biological, behavioral, social and environmental contexts of health behavior among vulnerable child populations. Martinez, along with NPI Director Lorrene Ritchie and UC Santa Barbara’s Katie Maynard, authored the groundbreaking 2016 UC Student Food Access and Security Study that led UC to develop an action plan to address student food insecurity. Martinez has also been a presenter at several #RealCollege convenings. She will continue as an affiliated researcher at NPI, where she will collaborate with NPI Director Ritchie on a qualitative and quantitative study to understand housing insecurity and homelessness at four UC campuses: UC Santa Cruz, UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, and UC Merced.



November 1, 2018

NPI researchers publish study assessing diet quality of low-income 7-to-24-month-old children

In a national study of more than 2,000 low-income children, NPI researchers assessed diet quality in 7-to-24-month-old children. The study, just published in The Journal of Nutrition, found that children are doing well on some dietary components, such as eating iron-rich cereals, but there is room for improvement in consuming more fruits and vegetables, reducing intake of sugary drinks and breastfeeding through 12 months of age. Findings from the study may be used to inform the next Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which currently do not include this important age group.



October 21, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie speaks on WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study at FNCE

As part of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2018 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE), Lorrene Ritchie speaks as part of a discussion on New Perspectives on WIC: An Evidence-Based Examination of Early Childhood Dietary Behaviors. Ritchie is an author of the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2, and in early 2018, results from the study’s first two years were published.The discussion will cover: 1) how the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 expands prospective research on early childhood feeding practices; 2)  a comparison of the dietary intakes of children in WIC  to the current standards for pediatric nutrition; and 3)  a discussion of how the food, activity and weight trends of low-income children on WIC impact nutrition education and counseling.



October 19, 2018

Wendi Gosliner selected to participate in the 2019 UC Women's Initiative for Professional Development

Nutrition Policy Institute project scientists and unit director Wendi Gosliner DrPH, RD, has been selected to participate in the 2019 UC Women's Initiative for Professional Development, an experiential professional development program offered to mid-career women, faculty, academic personnel and staff who demonstrate the potential to advance their careers at UC. The UC Women's Initiative is sponsored by the Systemwide Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (SACSW) and the UC Office of the President. The UC Women's Initiative  for Professional Development won the 2018 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Gold Award for the “Best Advance in Women’s Leadership Development.”



October 11, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Claire Cullen on how survey methods affect measurement

Claire Cullen, previously an economist at the Australian Agency for International Development, is a PhD student at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, a visiting student researcher at UC Berkeley’s Department of Economics and a consultant at the World Bank Gender Innovation Lab. She will discuss how survey methods affect measurement. In a recent paper, she analyzed the magnitude and characteristics of misreporting on intimate partner and sexual violence using self-reported survey data from Rwanda and Nigeria. She compared women's reports of experiencing emotional, physical or sexual violence using three different survey methods: an indirect method (list experiment) and two direct survey methods (face-to-face questions asked by an enumerator, or audio-assisted self-administered survey on an electronic tablet). She found that women's reports of intimate partner and sexual violence in Rwanda are double when measured using the indirect list method compared to the two direct methods currently used in most surveys.



October 4, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Lauren Au on her English Channel swim

Demonstrating her commitment to physical activity and health, Nutrition Policy Institute Assistant Researcher Lauren Au completed her inspiring 28.1 mile English Channel swim in 11:01 hours this past summer. Au will share her exciting journey, including what foods she ate to keep nourished during the swim, her first meal post-swim, the marine life she encountered, lessons learned and what she has planned next. The presentation will include photos, videos and Q&A. 



September 29, 2018

Suzanna Martinez presents at #RealCollege 2018

During the #RealCollege 2018 convening, Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) Assistant Researcher Suzanna Martinez will partner with Aydin Nazmi, associate professor at California Polytechnic University, to give a presentation titled “Measuring food insecurity on your campus.” With increasing focus on college food insecurity, accurate assessment of food insecurity prevalence is crucial. Martinez and Nazmi’s session will highlight key concepts in college food security research, critically evaluate study design and assessment methods, and describe best-practice methods for conducting research related to food security in college environments. Martinez, along with NPI’s Lorrene Ritchie and UC Santa Barbara’s Katie Maynard, authored the groundbreaking 2016 UC Student Food Access and Security Study that led UC to develop an action plan to address student food insecurity.



September 28, 2018

USDA Food and Nutrition Service publishes final report on WIC Nutrition Education Study; NPI was team member on the study

National data have been limited regarding delivery of WIC nutrition education and the impact of WIC nutrition education on WIC participants’ nutrition and other behaviors. To address this data gap, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service contracted with RTI International and its team members—Altarum Institute and researchers from the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute—to conduct the WIC Nutrition Education Study. This study consisted of two phases. Phase I provided a comprehensive, nationally representative description of WIC nutrition education policies, practices, and features in 2014, based on surveys of local WIC agencies and sites and in-depth interviews with a subset of these sites (USDA, FNS, 2016). Phase II was a methodological study, conducted in six sites during 2015–2016, to test an approach to determine its feasibility for a national evaluation. The Phase II study included (1) a process evaluation that characterized the delivery of WIC nutrition education and (2) an impact evaluation that used a longitudinal, exposure-response design to assess the influence of WIC nutrition education on participants’ nutrition and physical activity attitudes and behaviors. The Phase II study was intended to determine if this approach could be used in a national evaluation study. Results indicate that a national study may not be feasible, but that other approaches may achieve similar goals on a smaller scale.



September 27, 2018

Webinar: From Policy to Plate: Increasing fruit and vegetable intake through accessibility, affordability and demand

On Thursday, September 27, at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET), join this webinar to learn about the impact of health laws and policies on increasing fruit and vegetable intake and making food accessible and affordable. This is the first in a series of webinars about the role of law and policy in helping to achieve Healthy People 2020 objectives. The webinar is based on a recent report co-authored by the Nutrition Policy Institute’s Pat Crawford. You’ll learn key findings about using law and policy interventions to increase fruit and vegetable intake from the report authors and hear how a large city used business regulation to improve availability of staple foods—including fruits and vegetables—in retail settings. The goal of the Healthy People Law and Health Policy project is to highlight how evidence-based legal and policy interventions and strategies can facilitate progress toward Healthy People objectives by improving community health and well-being. In addition to reports and webinars, the project includes “Bright Spots,” or success stories, that highlight successful policy interventions that have led to improved health outcomes. Join the discussion and learn how policy efforts improve health. The project is a collaboration between the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Learn more and register for the webinar.



September 27, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Lilian Autler on the Equitable Food Initiative & Nathalie Marin-Gest on Fair Trade USA

The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is a multi-stakeholder program that partners with growers and retailers in the produce industry to create a more transparent food chain, safer food and healthier places to work. Lilian Autler of the EFI Workforce Development team will provide an overview of the results of EFI’s 2017 impact evaluation report with a focus on EFI’s positive impact on the lives of farmworkers. Fair Trade USA is the leading certifier of Fair Trade Certified products, working with producers and workers in more than 50 countries. Nathalie Marin-Gest, director of Fair Trade’s produce and floral program, will speak about that program, including a review of agricultural issues on all sides of the border and related impact from the more than 1.5 billion pounds of produce sold on Fair Trade terms that has generated significant improvements in the lives of farmers and workers. Watch the recording and view the slides of Autler and Marin-Gest's presentation.



September 25, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie featured in Healthy Communities Study webinar

Nutrition Policy Institute Director Lorrene Ritchie will be featured in a webinar titled "The Healthy Communities Study: How Community Programs and Policies Are Related to Children's Health." Hosted by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), the webinar will provide a brief overview of the Healthy Communities Study, the results of which suggest that targeted investments in community programs and policies can contribute to the improved nutrition and physical activity of children. The webinar will also highlight several findings from the Healthy Communities Study recently published in Pediatric Obesity. The host of the webinar, NCCOR, brings together four of the nation's leading research funders—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—to address the problem of childhood obesity in America.



September 13, 2018

Pat Crawford co-authors seminal Healthy People 2020 report identifying innovative strategies for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption

The Nutrition Policy Institute’s Pat Crawford DrPH, RD, is one of four authors (with Lauren Dunning JD, MPH; Manel Kappagoda JD, MPH; and Jean C. O’Connor JD, MPH, DrPH) of a seminal Healthy People 2020 report, The Role of Law and Policy in Achieving the Healthy People 2020 Nutrition and Weight Status Goals of Increased Fruit and and Vegetable Intake in the United States.The report was released today by the Healthy People 2020 Law and Health Policy Project, a collaboration between the CDC Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The report highlights the state of laws and policies related to the Healthy People nutrition and weight status topic area, specifically increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables. Healthy People 2020 is a national initiative supported by the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion that provides science-based, 10-year objectives to improve the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 serves as a tool for the federal government, states, communities and many other public- and private-sector partners to use in setting strategies to address health challenges and improve health.



September 21, 2018

Research to Action examines school nutrition programs

The September 2018 issue of the Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) Research to Action news brief examines school nutrition programs. School lunch and breakfast, together with the other child nutrition programs, make a key contribution to students’ success at school and play an indispensable role in their health and development. Read about NPI’s leading research on school nutrition programs and find out how you can help support these important programs.



September 13, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Sri Hewawitharana and Shelly Mandel on data management

This training will discuss elements of data management to keep in mind while designing study protocols involving data collection, as well as a brief look into initial data management steps to take once data has been collected. Topics will include: ID creation, data security, an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of data collection methods, data validation, variable naming conventions, codebook creation and an overview of some descriptive statistics used to check data quality.



September 6, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Hilary Seligman on Food Insecurity and Health: Addressing a Complex Social Problem Through Programs, Policies and Partnerships

Hilary Seligman MD, one of the nation's foremost experts on the health implications of food insecurity, discusses how to address a complex social problem through programs, policies and partnerships. Emerging evidence supports the long-held contention that food insecurity impacts health. Dr. Seligman will review this evidence and new insights into its economic implications. She will then examine the concept of strategic science and how it can be used to make research more impactful, using examples from her own work developing food security programs (such as EatSF), examining policies that support food security (such as SNAP) and partnering with community-based organizations who share these goals (such as Feeding America).



September 3, 2018

Isabel Rangel’s NPI-funded research is featured in Politico article 

An NPI-funded study by UC Berkeley graduate student Isabel Rangel is featured in a Politico article by Helena Bottemiller Evich. The article focuses on immigrants who are turning down federal food aid because they fear the Trump administration could bar them from getting a green card if they accept the aid. Rangel’s research is mentioned in the article, which quotes her: “She said they described dealing with ‘constant anxiety,’ even when they've decided to keep using programs like WIC, Medicaid and food stamps. They're worried that their documentation status will be somehow be jeopardized by participating in these health programs. They say: 'I can't stop using these programs because my children need them, but I know I'm risking my future and the future of my children.'" Rangel has been exploring how the current anti-immigrant climate is affecting the ways that mixed-status families, composed of at least one undocumented parent and one documented child, are accessing health and nutrition programs in California. Rangel received her MPH from UC Berkeley and is a graduate of UCLA where she majored in Anthropology and minored in Public Health and Labor and Workplace Studies. Her passion for addressing Latinx health inequities stems from her experiences of being raised in rural farmworker communities both in Mexico and in California’s Central Valley.



September 1, 2018

Childhood Obesity publishes NPI-led special issue 

Childhood Obesity has published a special issue on policies, programs and best practices in early care and education settings that was developed by Nutrition Policy Institute Director Lorrene Ritchie and coordinated by Ritchie and Danielle Lee. Published on September 1, 2018, the issue includes 12 articles as well as a remembrance of Susie Nanney, who worked to improve children's and family health in underserved and rural communities, including in early care and education settings. In addition to leading the development of the special issue, Ritchie co-authored a paper in the issue with Danielle Lee, Klara Gurzo, Sallie Yoshida, Elyse Homel Vitale and Ken Hecht: Compliance with the New 2017 Child and Adult Care Food Program Standards for Infants and Children before Implementation.



August 30, 2018

Nutrition Policy Institute fact sheets outline how CalFresh benefits California's counties

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh in California, is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. CalFresh provides critical support to low-income families while strengthening the local economy. The Nutrition Policy Institute has created a series of fact sheets that show how CalFresh benefits each of California's 58 counties.



August 23, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Isabel Rangel on health and nutrition programs accessed by mixed-status families in an anti-immigrant climate: Perspectives from Mexican parents living in California

Isabel Rangel will present the results from her capstone project exploring how the current anti-immigrant climate is affecting the ways that mixed-status families, composed of at least one undocumented parent and one documented child, are accessing health and nutrition programs in California. Rangel received her MPH from UC Berkeley and is a graduate of UCLA where she majored in Anthropology and minored in Public Health and Labor and Workplace Studies. Her passion for addressing Latinx health inequities stems from her experiences of being raised in rural farmworker communities both in Mexico and in California’s Central Valley.



August 2, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Tia Shimada and Lorrene Ritchie on research to policy

Tia Shimada, director of programs at California Food Policy Advocates, and Lorrene Ritchie, director of the Nutrition Policy Institute and UC Cooperative Extension specialist, discuss how research can—and should—shape public policy. They will draw on years of partnership between advocates and academic researchers to share lessons learned about designing, conducting and disseminating policy-focused research. They will also talk about how advocates work with researchers of all stripes—from tenured faculty to think-tank data wonks—to advance state and federal policy.



July 26, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Mark Bell on the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Jigsaw

Mark Bell, vice provost of strategic initiatives and statewide programs for the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will talk about the interrelationship of the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ (UC ANR) strategic initiativesstatewide programsprogram teams and workgroups and the new UC ANR public value statements. UC ANR improves the lives of Californians through its research and extension in the areas of agriculture, the environment, natural resources management, and human and community development. The division develops and delivers solutions to local problems in such areas as farming, nutrition, veterinary medicine, water quality and conservation, and offers programs for youth and families. The effects of these efforts have been widespread—from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the fibers that clothe us, to the programs that sustain our natural environments and provide educational programs for inner-city at-risk youth.



July 24, 2018

California State Assembly report examines hunger and homelessness among California college students; NPI study cited

The California State Assembly Speaker’s Office of Research and Floor Analysis released a report about hunger and homelessness issues among University of California, California State University and California Community College students. The report presents a comprehensive overview of basic needs insecurity issues in California's public higher education system. The Nutrition Policy Institute’s groundbreaking 2016 Student Food Access and Security Study is cited in the report. NPI has since published numerous papers about student food insecurity and basic needs issues including:



July 23, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie presents at Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior 2018 Annual Conference

Nutrition Policy Institute Director Lorrene Ritchie presents "School Meals in the 21st Century: Using Technology and Design Innovation" at the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior 2018 Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She will discuss results from a study of school food service redesign to improve meal participation and dietary intake. The results have been used to inform policy related to targeted technological interventions, point of sale and staff promotions to improve school meal participation rates, improve participant diet quality and variety, and decrease obesity in school meal participants. Earlier this year, Ritchie was honored as a Gold Author by the Society's Journal of Nutrition of Education and Behavior (JNEB) in recognition of her many excellent manuscripts published in JNEB during the last ten years.



July 12, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Andrea Begley on furthering food and nutrition policy in Australia

Action to progress food and nutrition policy in Australia has not been successful in the past decade even though diet is the leading contributor to the burden of disease and the latest release of national nutrition survey results convincingly demonstrate the nutrition problems. Political responses in the form of programs or interventions can best be described as patchy. Serious questions remain about the capacity of the three tiers of government to plan, coordinate and implement effective solutions. Andrea Begley, senior lecturer in dietetics and public health at the School of Public Health at Curtin University in Western Australia, will discuss current attempts to improve diet quality, as well as ideas for furthering food and nutrition policy in Australia



July 11, 2018

Childhood Obesity Conference call for presenter proposals is open

The 10th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference (COC), to be held July 15-18, 2019 in Anaheim, California, invites individuals and organizations engaged in researching, developing, implementing and evaluating policy and environmental strategies that address root causes of childhood obesity to submit proposals for consideration for inclusion in the 10th Biennial COC program. The theme of the conference is "Beyond Obesity: Tackling Root Causes." The deadline for submission of proposals is Friday, August 3, 2018. In addition, the call for pre-conference session proposals will open in fall 2018.



July 2, 2018

In memoriam: Susie Nanney

On June 15, 2018, the Nutrition Policy Institute lost a colleague and friend, Susie Nanney. Susie was an associate professor at the University of Minnesota where she served as director of the population health division. She was the founding director of the Health Equity in Policy Initiative for the Program in Health Disparities Research. Her research focused on obesity prevention, hunger relief, health disparities and policy. She worked to improve children’s and family health in underserved and rural communities. We will miss her as a colleague and as a champion in promoting population health and reducing health disparities. An undergraduate scholarship is being established in her name at the University of Minnesota. The purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students with financial need. Donate to the Susie Nanney Scholarship Fund.



June 29, 2018

Christina Hecht and Laura Vollmer present a workshop in Chicago: Just Add Water! Healthy Beverages in Child Care

The Nutrition Policy Institute's Christina Hecht and Laura Vollmer present a workshop during the National Association for Family Child Care Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The workshop, Just Add Water! Healthy Beverages in Child Care, covers the importance of drinking water, not sugary drinks, for health. Attendees will learn the latest news on drinking water and beverages in child care. Results from a new study on nutrition standards in family child care, new beverage guidance for young children, and educational and promotional resources will be provided to help attendees put new drinking water guidance into practice. The workshop is at 10 a.m. in the Tegel room.



June 28, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Marianne Bitler on "Impacts of Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs"

Marianne P. Bitler, professor in the UC Davis Department of Economics, will discuss research on the effects of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) on participants' food acquisition, diet and health outcomes. She will also discuss research on the long-term effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (previously known as the Food Stamp program) on participants' earnings and use of disability benefits.



June 26, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Ingrid Feng on "Farming for Native Bees: Seeking a Solution to the Honey Bee Crisis"

Ingrid Feng, whose experience includes work as a native bee researcher at the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab, discusses the decline of honey bee populations and the potential of using wild native bees as an alternate pollination source for our nation's crops. Research shows that wild native bees have the capacity to pollinate just as efficiently as honey bees. Support for native bees in agricultural, wild and urban settings has implications for agriculture, conservation and public health, however. While native bees may alleviate the immediate honey bee crisis, they do not resolve the underlying problems resulting from dependence on one bee species for crop pollination. View the slides for this presentation. 



June 11, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie presents at Nutrition 2018, the American Society for Nutrition’s annual conference

Lorrene Ritchie presents Community Programs, Policies and Practices Related to an Increased Prevalence of Healthy Weight: The California Healthy Kids Study at Nutrition 2018, the American Society for Nutrition’s annual conference. She will be discussing characteristics of successful programs to promote healthy weight among middle schoolers.



June 1, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Safety Net Investments in Children: The Evidence on SNAP with Hilary Hoynes

In this talk, UC Berkeley Professor of Economics and Public Policy Hilary Hoynes will review what is known about the long-term effects of SNAP on health and economic outcomes. In particular, she will examine how giving more food assistance to families when children are young translates into outcomes in adulthood. She will present results from some of her work in progress, “Is the Social Safety Net a Long-Term Investment? Large-Scale Evidence from the Food Stamps Program.”



May 24, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: A Conversation about Genetically Modified Food,  Part 2: Plant Genetics and the Future of Food with Pam Ronald

Pam Ronald PhDa Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Davis, and Director of the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy, discusses how integrated approaches are needed to enhance sustainable agriculture. The genetic engineering of crops launched in 1996; the marker assisted breeding of today and the genome editing of tomorrow are examples of a continuum of new technologies aimed at helping farmers produce food in a productive and ecologically based manner. Learn more



May 14, 2018

UC ANR/NPI Seeks UC Global Food Initiative Fellow

The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources/Nutrition Policy Institute are seeking outstanding UC students to apply for the 2018-19 UC Global Food Initiative Fellowship in Communications/Outreach. The UC ANR GFI Fellowship in Communications/Outreach focuses on community outreach and education, specifically: 1) educating the public through written, visual, and online communications about nutrition policy, food security, federal food programs, food waste reuse, childhood obesity prevention and other nutrition and food policy topics, and 2) educating the public through written, visual, and online communications about UC ANR’s impact on the above topics. The application deadline is Monday, May 21, 2018. For more information and application instructions, please see the UC ANR GFI Fellow in Communications flyer



May 10, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: The built environment and health equity in Alameda County

Anna Lee, Guenet Sebsibe and Jenny Wang of the Alameda County Public Health Department will discuss policy, program, and partnering efforts to increase health equity in Alameda County. Policy efforts include the Place Matters program, a local policy initiative addressing land use and transportation policy issues that involves collaboration with public health programs and community organizations. Program efforts include the Healthy Retail Program, which works with small corner stores in food deserts to offer healthier options. Partnering efforts include collaborations with schools, early childhood- as well as youth-serving organizations, parks and recreation centers, faith-based institutions, retail stores, low-income senior and family housing, and grassroots and community-based organizations.



May 3-4, 2018

Suzanna Martinez participates in UC Global Food Initiative Food Access and Security Basic Needs subcommittee meeting

Suzanna Martinez participated in the UC Global Food Initiative Food Access and Security Basic Needs subcommittee annual meeting at UC Santa Cruz. The meeting was led by Tim Galarneau and Ruben Canedo and attended by representatives from all 10 UC campuses and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. This committee of the UC Global Food Initiative convened to discuss achievements during the previous year and to plan activities for the coming year.



May 3, 2018

Join us for the Rural Food Banking in California webinar

Rural food banks face unique challenges in trying to help families reduce food insecurity. The California Association of Food Banks is working to support its rural members to address the challenges of rural food banking. Cooperative Extension and SNAP-Ed are also key partners with food banks and their affiliated agencies supporting the distribution of healthy foods and associated nutrition education. The UC ANR Nutrition Policy Institute is working with food banks in California and around the country to develop and implement policies that support the provision of more healthy foods in food banksJoin us for a webinar on rural food banking on Thursday, May 3 at 1 pm PT. This webinar will bring together key stakeholders and explore the challenges of transporting, storing and distributing healthy foods to rural communities. Participants will learn about findings from an assessment of rural food banks in California identifying issues and concerns about the transportation, storage and distribution of healthy food. Participants will also hear directly about unique solutions that are being successfully implemented by rural food banks in California and other states. The webinar will include a brainstorming session to identify other ways that we can support rural food banks.



May 3, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Maggi Kelly on using mapping technology in public health and nutrition work

Maggi Kelly, professor and cooperative extension specialist in the Environmental Science, Policy and Management department and affiliated professor of Geography at UC Berkeley, will speak on how to use mapping technology in public health and nutrition work. Spatial data collection, analysis and visualization has changed dramatically in the last decade and we now are able to use this 21st-century mapping toolkit to address contemporary challenges in public health, nutrition, food systems, food security and obesity research, among other fields. In this talk, Kelly will review recent advancements in data, analysis tools and communication, and highlight key cases from her work and elsewhere that illustrate the exciting and dynamic geospatial landscape.



April 26, 2018

Dani Lee teaches about Nutrition Facts label on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

University of California Office of the President (UCOP) staff celebrated Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day with a myriad of activities led by volunteers on a range of topics.  Nutrition Policy Institute's Dani Lee, also representing the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, taught kids how to read the Nutrition Facts Label to tell if a drink has added sugars.  



April 25–27, 2018

Nutrition Policy Institute presents at Healthy Eating Research annual meeting

A group of Nutrition Policy Institute staff attends the 12th annual meeting of Healthy Eating Research (HER) in Nashville, Tennessee, to present their research funded by HER. Lorrene Ritchie PhD, RD, director of NPI, presents with California Food Policy Advocates partner Elyse Homel Vitale MPH on “Nutrition in Licensed Child-Care Centers and Homes in California: Compliance With the 2017 CACFP Nutrition Standards and 2010 Healthy Beverages Standards.” Ritchie also presents a poster on “Relationship of School and Community Programs, Policies and Practices with Child BMI: the California Healthy Kids Study.” In a session dedicated to helping grantees understand how research and communicating research results effectively to the right audiences can influence policy debates, NPI Assistant Researcher Lauren Au PhD, RD,  discusses the tools she uses to reach and influence policymakers. Au also presents on “Eating School Meals Daily Is Associated with Healthier Dietary Intakes: The Healthy Communities Study.”  NPI Senior Policy Analyst Christina Hecht PhD presents with Angie Craddock ScD, MPE of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on “Early Adopters: Current Practices and Preliminary Findings in States Adopting School-Based Water Quality Testing Programs” and Hecht also presents with Anisha Patel MD, MSPH, MSHS of Stanford University on “Developing, Validating and Feasibility Testing a Cost-effective Photo-evidence Method to Assess Effectiveness of Access to Drinking Water in Schools.” NPI Director of Policy Ken Hecht LLB moderates the panel on “Innovative Strategies to Promote Water Access and Consumption” and NPI Associate Director of Research Gail Woodward-Lopez MPH, RD moderates the panel on “Schools II: Approaches to Healthy Eating and Wellness in Schools.” Healthy Eating Research is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that supports research on environmental and policy strategies that have strong potential to promote healthy eating among children, especially among lower-income and racial and ethnic populations at highest risk for obesity. Research is conducted in order to advance RWJF’s efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic and help all children in the United States to grow up at a healthy weight.



April 23-25, 2018

Suzanna Martinez attends 2018 PRIDE (Program to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged In Health-Related Research) annual meeting

Suzanna Martinez attended the 2018 PRIDE (Program to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged In Health-Related Research) annual meeting, which took place in Bethesda, Maryland. PRIDE is an all-expense-paid Summer Institute, research education and mentoring initiative sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Last August, Martinez completed a Summer Institute training program in Behavioral Sleep and Medicine at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. At the PRIDE annual meeting, she networked with junior faculty working in the area of chronic disease prevention in the Latino community, and she made several contacts, including some for future collaboration. The Summer Institute initiative addresses the difficulties experienced by junior investigators and transitioning postdoctoral scientists in establishing independent academic research careers and negotiating through the academic ranks. The primary outcome of this program is to increase the number of scientists and research-oriented faculty who are from backgrounds currently under-represented in the biomedical sciences and those with disabilities, by preparing them to successfully compete for external funding for scientific research in heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) disorders.



April 21, 2018

Pat Crawford honored by UC Berkeley School of Public Health

As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health honored Nutrition Policy Institute Senior Director of Research Pat Crawford DrPH, MPH, RD as one of its 75 most influential alumni in recognition of her significant contributions to reduce the epidemic of childhood obesity in California and across the country. Crawford is also an adjunct professor at the School and co-founded and directed the Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley for 15 years before joining the Nutrition Policy Institute.



April 20, 2018

USDA study finds positive nutrition outcomes among WIC participants; Lorrene Ritchie and Lauren Au are co-authors

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) was established to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant women and infants who are at nutritional risk. The WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (WIC ITFPS-2), also known as the “Feeding My Baby” Study, captures data on caregivers and their children over the first 5 years of the child’s life after WIC enrollment to address a series of research questions regarding feeding practices, associations between WIC services and those practices, and the health and nutrition outcomes of children receiving WIC. The study previously produced two reports, the Intentions to Breastfeed Report and the Infant Year Report.  The newest report, the Second-Year Report, focuses on caregivers’ employment, school and child care circumstances, as well as the feeding progressions, dietary intake and weight status of children from birth through around 24 months. Key findings show positive nutrition outcomes among WIC participants. NPI Director Lorrene Ritchie and Assistant Researcher Lauren Au are co-authors of the new study.



April 20, 2018

Christina Hecht presents drinking water workshop at National Child Nutrition Conference

Nutrition Policy Institute Senior Policy Advisor Christina Hecht presents an interactive workshop on “Offering help with 'offer':  Meeting the new Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) water provisions” as part of the National Child Nutrition Conference in San Antonio, Texas. See the schedule.



April 18, 2018

Improving community health: NPI researchers identify promising approaches for healthy eating and active living in low-income communities

12-article supplement about Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Initiative published today by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine features papers by UC Nutrition Policy Institute researchers Suzanne Rauzon, Gail Woodward-Lopez and Janice Kao. The NPI researchers evaluated Kaiser Permanente’s 10-year place-based initiative focused on policy and environmental supports for healthy eating and active living in high-risk communities. With partners at the Center for Community Health and Evaluation, they developed the “Population Dose” method to evaluate multi-sector, multi-level community health initiatives. Findings of their study confirm that 1) Successful community change requires reaching a broad segment of the populations, strong strategies for change and frequent exposure to those; 2) Community changes in healthy eating and activity were most impactful in school and child care settings—and included a focus on increasing physical activity; and 3) Successful sustainable changes in the food and activity environment in child care settings requires changes in institutional practices in combination with supportive policy. These papers included in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine Supplement are:

The final evaluation report of the Community Health Initiative, completed by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Center for Community Health and Evaluation, and University of California, Nutrition Policy Institute, is also available. In addition, you can read the Nutrition Policy Institute’s Research to Action news brief for an overview of the Kaiser Permanente Community Health Initiative project.



April 17, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Angie Tagtow on the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: The Role of Science, People, & Politics

Angie Tagtow is a strategic advisor with more than 25 years of experience working at local, state, federal, and international levels in agriculture, food and nutrition policy; public health; and food and water systems. In 2014, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Executive Director for the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, where she co-led the development and launch of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Tagtow will talk about the process of developing the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) as well as proposed cuts to the federal nutrition education and food and nutrition programs, touching on the nutrition and health status of the U.S. population, the background of the DGAs, the anticipated process of developing the 2020-2025 DGAs and opportunities for engagement and action.



April 15, 2018

Researchers respond to USA Today article author

Researchers involved in prominent college student food insecurity studies around the country responded to an April 11 article in USA Today by James Bovard entitled “Starvation issues in universities? The real college problem is obesity.” The researchers, including Nutrition Policy Institute’s Suzanna Martinez, pointed out Bovard’s errors of fact and lack of compassion for students who have limited financial resources and/or support from their families. The researchers’ comments were published in an April 15 letter to the editor in USA Today. In addition to Martinez, the other researchers who signed the letter are Nick Freudenberg of City University of New York School of Public Health, Sara Goldrick-Rab of Temple University and Aydin Nazmi of California Polytechnic State University.



April 10, 2018

Lauren Au highlights nutrition research in American Society for Nutrition's Farm Bill webinar

Nutrition Policy Institute Assistant Researcher Lauren Au PhD, RD, will speak about nutrition research as part of the American Society for Nutrition’s “The Farm Bill and Beyond: Advocating for Nutrition and Research” webinar. The webinar aims to inform ASN members about the 2018 Farm Bill and its impact on nutrition-related work and research. With drastic cuts proposed for many nutrition research funding agencies, federal support for nutrition research funding, federal nutrition programs and nutrition-related public health initiatives is more important now than ever before. The webinar will provide an overview of the Farm Bill, explore the nutrition-related elements of the Farm Bill, and review the overall importance and impact of advocacy for nutrition and research, as well as provide insight to best practices and approaches to overcome challenges. Au also recently co-authored The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill.



April 5, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Ruben Canedo on University of California Basic Needs: Impact, updates and future directions

Ruben Canedo, University of California System Basic Needs Co-Chair, will provide an update on the latest systemwide basic needs data, the impact of system and campus efforts and the next phase of these efforts. Canedo is an alumnus of UC Berkeley and a co-founder of the Undocumented Student Program at UC Berkeley. He serves as Director of Strategic Equity Initiatives for UC Berkeley's Division of Equity & Inclusion. This role allows him to serve as both UC Berkeley's Basic Needs Committee Chair (since 2013) and UC System Basic Needs Committee Co-Chair (since 2014). Ruben is also part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's "Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT)," a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. TRHT seeks to unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism—the main one being the belief in a “hierarchy of human value.”



April 4, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie speaks at UCLA policy seminar on the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The UCLA MCH Nutrition Leadership Training Program hosts a policy seminar on the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) during National Public Health Week featuring Nutrition Policy Institute Director Lorrene Ritchie PhD, RD and former Executive Director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion Angie Tagtow MS, RD. According to the USDA, the 2020-2025 edition of the DGA will take a lifespan approach and include new nutrition guidance for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers up to 2 years of age, and those old than 65 years. Ritchie and Tagtow will highlight the process for developing the Dietary Guidelines; the role science plays in informing the Dietary Guidelines; actors and stakeholders engaged in the development process; and strategies we need to take to preserve and protect a significant investment in Americans’ health. In addition, the latest research on best feeding practices for infants and toddlers will be presented, including results from the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study.



April 3, 2018

Global Food Institute Fellow Sonya Zhu presents results of capstone project

Sonya Zhu is a Master of Public Health-Master of Public Policy (MPH-MPP) candidate at UC Berkeley and a UC ANR Global Food Initiative (GFI) Student Fellow, based at the Nutrition Policy Institute. She will present the results of her GFI/MPH Maternal & Child Health capstone project. Using data from the Healthy Communities Study (HCS), Zhu examined the association between household food insecurity and child adiposity, dietary intake and diet-related behaviors. 



April 2, 2018

Lauren Au co-authors the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill

Nutrition Policy Institute Assistant Researcher Lauren Au is co-author on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill. The Academy's guiding principle for farm bill recommendations is a commitment to policies that improve health for everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable to food insecurity.  



January 2018

Nutrition Policy Institute and collaborators publish report on assessing beverage intake in adolescents

Promoting healthy beverage intake, particularly among children and adolescents, has emerged in recent years as a policy and research priority. Because different dietary assessment methods are subject to specific and unique limitations that could influence study findings, it is important to understand what assessment methods are available, what properties they have and what methods are typically used in the scientific literature. A new report, Assessing Beverage Intake in Children and Adolescents: State of the Science, Recommendations, and Resources for Evaluation and accompanying systematic review begin to address these issues. The report was authored by researchers from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health, the University of California Nutrition Policy Institute, Stanford Medicine, the University of California San Francisco Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, and was supported by Healthy Eating Research. The report provides guidance on using five main types of assessment methods for measuring beverage intake, including a description of how to implement the method, recommendations for use, and advantages and limitations. The systematic review (forthcoming) describes the state-of-the-science in measuring children's beverage intake and points toward future research needs in this area. Improved measurement techniques will help establish whether progress is being made toward ensuring that all children in the U.S. have healthy beverage consumption habits. Given the important role that beverage intake plays in a range of children’s health and developmental outcomes, researchers and practitioners from a variety of areas should be invested in developing and applying thoughtful measurement techniques for assessing children’s beverage consumption.



March 29, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie looks at the health issues behind the headlines

The March issue of True Health Initiative's Health Between the Headlines newsletter includes Nutrition Policy Institute Director Lorrene Ritchie interpreting and analyzing the media coverage of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “The study adds to the evidence that the best diet for weight loss is a healthy one—where the focus is on increasing intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, lower fat milk and limiting intake of refined grains, added sugar and highly processed energy-dense foods,” said Ritchie. “You may end up eating a relatively lower total fat or lower total carb diet—either is fine as long as the focus is on healthy foods.” 



March 26, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Anne Megaro on effectively communicating science with policymakers and government officials

Anne Megaro, UC ANR's Government & Community Relations Director, will talk about the importance of communicating science with non-scientists to affect science-based policymaking and how this can most effectively be accomplished. Megaro earned her B.S. in Animal Science and Management from UC Davis and her Ph.D. in Animal Science from Cornell University. Her doctoral research focused on bioactive fatty acids in milk and their impact on human health. Upon graduation, in an effort to pursue goals of serving as a liaison between scientists, consumers, and government entities on issues involving agriculture, nutrition and food safety, Anne was competitively selected to participate in the AAAS Congressional Fellowship in Washington, D.C. Upon completion of the fellowship, Anne moved back to California and was hired to be the consultant to the California State Senate Committee on Agriculture. In this position, she was responsible for writing clear, comprehensive, and non-partisan analyses for all bills that came before the committee; designing and organizing committee oversight and informational hearings; and collaborating with legislators, stakeholders, government agencies and the public to resolve concerns or issues related to bills or policies. Currently, Megaro guides UC ANR employees in nurturing relationships with government officials and community members.



March 22, 2018

Christina Hecht presents at California Water Policy Conference

Nutrition Policy Institute Senior Policy Advisor Christina Hecht is on the "Lead in Drinking Water: How Safe Is Safe and At What Cost?" panel that is part of the 27th California Water Policy Conference. This year’s theme “Water You Gonna Do?” brings together water leaders representing agricultural, environmental, urban, environmental justice, government, and private sector constituencies and perspectives, as well as interested individuals from the general public, to tackle California's water supply challenges. 



March 22, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Zubaida Qamar on Recruitment and Retention Strategies - Lessons Learned from the MASALA Study

Dr. Zubaida Qamar, research project manager for the Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) Study at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), will provide a brief overview of the various community-based recruitment and retention strategies that have been successfully implemented for the participants of the MASALA Study. She will also describe some of the unique recruitment and retention challenges faced by the MASALA participants residing in and around the Bay Area and the approaches used to overcome these barriers. Such strategies could provide guidance to the recruitment and retention efforts of community-based intervention and disease-prevention studies for underserved groups, moving in the direction of eliminating health disparities.



March 17, 2018

Study shows that eating school meals daily is associated with healthier diets

In a study conducted by the Nutrition Policy Institute based on Healthy Communities Study data and published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers examined the association between the frequency of participating in the National School Lunch and National School Breakfast Programs and children's dietary intakes. The study concluded that eating school breakfast and school lunch every day by U.S. schoolchildren was associated with healthier dietary intakes. The findings suggest nutritional benefits of regularly consuming school meals.



March 16, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: John Reich on funding research to enhance the economic and environmental resilience of our food supply

John Reich PhD, Scientific Program Director of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), will speak about FFAR's work and funding opportunities. FFAR brings together leading experts to identify and investigate the researchable questions whose answers have the potential to enhance the economic and environmental resilience of our food supply. FFAR funds research in two broad categories—more productive/sustainable agriculture and better health through food—and seven Challenge Areas including: Food Waste and Loss, Protein Challenge, Water Scarcity, Innovation Pathway to Sustainability, Healthy Soils/Thriving Farms, Urban Food Systems, and Making My Plate Your Plate. 



March 15, 2018

Nutrition Policy Institute study finds that prices for fruits and vegetables may be higher in low-income neighborhoods

Shoppers purchasing fruits and vegetables in stores located in low-income neighborhoods in California may pay more for those fruits and vegetables than shoppers in other neighborhoods, according to a study that examined prices in a large sample of stores throughout the state. Published online in March 2018 in the journal Public Health Nutritionthe study, conducted by researchers at UC’s Nutrition Policy Institute, involved more than 200 large grocery stores, 600 small markets, and 600 convenience stores in 225 low-income neighborhoods (where at least half of the population was at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level) and compared observed prices to purchased price data from chain grocery stores in the same counties during the same months.



March 5, 2018

Nutrition Policy Institute partners to launch inaugural California Food Waste Prevention Week

The Nutrition Policy Institute collaborates with Governor Jerry Brown and other California officials and agencies to announce March 5-9, 2018, as Food Waste Prevention Week in the State of California. The unprecedented collaboration grew out of a meeting held in February 2017 in which the Public Health Alliance of Southern California and the UC ANR Nutrition Policy Institute jointly convened state agencies delivering nutrition education programming to discuss the impacts of food waste and strategize solutions the agencies could advance together. The planning group identified an opportunity to generate and issue shared messaging during National Nutrition Month, a goal that has evolved into California’s inaugural Food Waste Prevention Week, a coordinated multi-sector effort to raise awareness about the economic, environmental and social impacts of food waste in California. Stay tuned to the Nutrition Policy Institute's Twitter page and UC ANR's Twitter and Facebook pages for shareable resources, tips and ideas during the week, and join the Food Waste Reduction Hero Photo Challenge.



March 2, 2018

Healthy Communities Study paper published in Pediatric Obesity

The national epidemic of childhood obesity is well-recognized, yet the effect of community-based programs and policies on childhood obesity prevention is less well understood. This Healthy Communities Study paper, just published in Pediatric Obesity, examined the longitudinal relationship between the intensity of community-based programs and policies in 130 communities over 10 years and the body mass index of resident children. The study also examined whether these relationships differ by key family or community characteristics. The results indicate that over time, more intense community-based programs and policies are related to lower childhood body mass index, and that there are disparities by sociodemographic characteristics of families and communities, such as child grade, race/ethnicity, family income and parental education, as well as community-level race/ethnicity. Nutrition Policy Institute Director Lorrene Ritchie is an author of the study.



March 1, 2018

Research to Action highlights inaugural California Food Waste Prevention Week

The March 2018 issue of the Nutrition Policy Institute’s Research to Action focuses on the inaugural Food Waste Prevention Week, a weeklong campaign to raise awareness about the economic, environmental and social impacts of food waste in California. This unprecedented collaboration, spearheaded by the Nutrition Policy Institute and the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, is supported by the Governor, the Secretary of Agriculture, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and many other agency leaders in public health, natural resources management, nutrition and other sectors.



March 1, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Laura Rubin discusses Kaiser Permanente's 10-Year HEAL Zone findings

Laura Rubin MPH will share findings from the last round of Kaiser Permanente’s 10-year Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Zone Initiative, which ended in June 2017. The initiative funded place-based collaboratives to work across multiple strategies and sectors to increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. Rubin will review the population-level findings, share stories of the successes and lessons learned, and share a short video and reflections from the sites. 



February 28, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie honored by Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior as Gold Author

In recognition of her many manuscripts published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB) during the last ten years, Lorrene Ritchie has been honored as a Gold Author. “We truly appreciate the excellent manuscripts you send,” Susan Pollock, managing editor of JNEB, noted.



February 26, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie and Ken Hecht present at National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference

Lorrene Ritchie will be speaking and Ken Hecht will be moderating a session at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday, February 26, 2018. The session is on "Brand New Research to Help You Make a Success of New Child and Adult Care Food Programs (CACFP) Meal Patterns" and will provide the most recent research and insight on CACFP programs and provider practices and strategies. The National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, co-sponsored by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) and Feeding America, and in cooperation with the National CACFP Forum, draws anti-hunger and anti-poverty advocates; federal, state and local government officials; child advocates; representatives of food banks and food rescue organizations; sponsoring organizations and nutrition and anti-obesity groups.



February 22, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Punam Ohri-Vachaspati examines the role of policy and environment in shaping behavior and health outcomes

Punam Ohri-Vachaspati PhD, MS, RD, professor of nutrition in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University (ASU) discusses the role of policy and environment in shaping behavior and health outcomes. Ohri-Vachaspati leads the ASU Food Environment and Policy Research Group. She teaches graduate-level courses and mentors students interested in exploring public health approaches for improving healthy food access, eating behaviors and health outcomes. In 2016-17, Ohri-Vachaspati completed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship, working on health care and nutrition issues in Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) office. Ohri-Vachaspati will be speaking about her NIH-funded research projects.



February 21, 2018

Christina Hecht and Laura Vollmer present at Healthy Beverage Summit

Christina Hecht and Laura Vollmer of the Nutrition Policy Institute and the National Drinking Water Alliance will present an interactive session on "Forging a Path Ahead: Developing a Roadmap to Healthy Beverages" at the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation's Healthy Beverage Summit. The NB3 Foundation is a national, award-winning Native American nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing Native American childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. Held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Healthy Beverage Summit brings together community members, organizations and agencies committed to reducing the consumption of sugary beverages among Native American children.



February 15, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie and Wendi Gosliner examine children’s sugary beverage and water consumption; publish findings in American Journal of Preventive Medicine

The Nutrition Policy Institute’s Lorrene Ritchie and Wendi Gosliner are co-authors of "Sugar-Sweetened Beverage and Water Intake in Relation to Diet Quality in U.S. Children" to be published in print in the March 2018 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and available online now. This study examines whether children’s sugary beverage and water intakes are associated with diet quality and total energy intake. The study concluded that children who consume sugary beverages have poorer diet quality and higher total energy intake than children who do not consume sugary beverages. The study recommended that interventions for obesity and chronic disease focus on replacing sugary beverage consumption.



February 15, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Ronit Ridberg on Wholesome Wave’s Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) Program

Ronit Ridberg MS, PhD candidate at the UC Davis School of Nursing’s Nursing Science and Health Care Leadership Program, will share preliminary results from her dissertation research, which uses data from Wholesome Wave’s Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) Program and asks “Does a fruit and vegetable prescription program increase household-level food security and children’s produce consumption?”



February 13, 2018

Equitable Food Initiative cites BFI, NPI work in testimony before California Senate

Equitable Food Initiative gave a presentation on creating a harassment-free culture in California to a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Senate Select Committee on Women, Work, and Families; and Legislative Women’s Caucus. Nutrition Policy Institute's Ron Strochlic's work with colleagues at the Berkeley Food Institute was cited. Read the research: Improved Farm Labor Conditions. Hear the podcast: Harvesting Equitable Food.



February 12, 2018

Lorrene Ritchie discusses healthy lifestyles for city-dwellers in WalletHub survey

In WalletHub's survey of the healthiest and unhealthiest cities in the United States, Nutrition Policy Institute Director Lorrene Ritchie discusses healthy lifestyles for city-dwellers, emphasizing the importance of having opportunities for healthy eating and active living in your neighborhood. 



February 8, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Stutee Khandelwal on dietary interventions for clinical practice

Stutee Khandelwal MD, MPH, assistant professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program, will discuss dietary interventions for clinical practice. This is a special NPI Brown Bag seminar, in partnership with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health-Public Health Nutrition program, and the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. This talk is oriented to students, medical residents and clinical practitioners, however NPI staff and NPI Brown Bag invitees are welcome and encouraged to join. We recommend attending via Zoom due to limited capacity.



February 7, 2018

Suzanna Martinez speaks at CSU Basic Needs Initiative Conference

Nutrition Policy Institute Assistant Researcher Suzanna Martinez PhD, MS presented a talk on "College food security research: State of the science” on February 7 at the California State University “Addressing Basic Needs in the CSU: Supporting Student Success" conference, held at Sacramento State University. Co-presenting with Martinez was Cal Poly’s Aydin Nazmi. The conference featured a variety of speakers and breakout sessions to help equip campuses with knowledge to successfully develop and deliver basic needs services to their students.



February 1, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Daniel A. Rodríguez on the role of transportation and land use in obesity

Daniel A. Rodríguez, Chancellor's Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, will discuss his research, which focuses on the relationship between transportation, land development, and the health and environmental impacts that follow. His most recent work focuses on the health and equity impacts of urban transportation policy. A majority of Professor Rodríguez’s work is driven by practical problems and finding solutions for planners and policy-makers. Working within the health, nutrition, economics, engineering, geography and public policy disciplines, he has examined how changes to the physical attributes of the environment, such as the location of bus routes, rail lines, supermarkets and trails, are related to changes in physical activity.



January 25, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Carmen Byker Shanks discusses contributors to fruit and vegetable consumption in diverse food environments

Carmen Byker Shanks PhD, RD, associate professor of Food, Nutrition and Sustainable Food Systems at Montana State University and Food and Health Lab principal investigator, presented her research examining disparities in availability, affordability, quality and desirability of fruits and vegetables in rural versus urban food environments as measured by observational surveys, consumer sensory testing and total phenolic concentration. Her findings indicate that fruits and vegetables were significantly lower in quality and desirability in all three measures on the basis of rurality and that intervention strategies should aim to increase fruit and vegetable quality and desirability in rural food environments to promote consumption. Watch a video of this NPI Brown Bag.



January 9, 2018

NPI Brown Bag: Jenny Mulholland-Beahrs discusses the California Outdoor Engagement Coalition

Jenny Mulholland-Beahrs, director of the California Outdoor Engagement Coalition, will provide an overview of the coalition’s vision, mission, priorities, partnerships and projects, and then lead a discussion. Through cross-sector partnerships, the coalition expands transformational experiences in the outdoors for youth who reflect the overall demographics of California. Partners include the National Park Service, California State Parks, the Sierra Club, Latino Outdoors and OutDoor Afro.

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