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


Research to Action News Brief

Research to Action, the Nutrition Policy Institute's news brief, provides information on research, policy, news, announcements, events, articles and action items focused on nutrition and healthy communities. View previous issues below and sign up to be added to the mailing list.


Volume 3, Number 3: The science behind sugar sweetened beverages

Volume 3, Number 2: Turn to the tap!

Volume 3, Number 1: Ten-year study reveals that what communities do impacts child health 


Volume 2, Number 4: Improving access to nutritious food in early care and education settings

Volume 2, Number 3: Support school nutrition programs

Volume 2, Number 2: Improving community health, one neighborhood at a time

Volume 2, Number 1: Prevent food waste


Volume 1, Number 4: Support rural food banks

Volume 1, Number 3: Medical and dental providers join forces to limit children's consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages

Volume 1, Number 2: Protect WIC from budget cuts and block granting

Volume 1, Number 1: Improve access to safe drinking water in California 

CalFresh Fact Sheets

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.

See how CalFresh benefits California’s counties.

UC Healthy Vending Policy

The Global Food Initiative Healthy Vending Work Group aims to improve access to healthy food and beverage options sold in vending machines for students and employees throughout the entire UC system. Through research of existing healthy vending policies and extensive outreach with stakeholder groups throughout UC, the work group has developed the UC Healthy Vending Guidelines and a Best Practices Implementation Toolkit.

The guidelines were developed to provide a consistent set of nutrition criteria and recommended implementation procedures for all UCs to follow, with the intent that these are eventually adopted as a University of California systemwide policy. To that end, the work group has created a set of materials for use in achieving and supporting UC systemwide policy adoption, and the language used in these materials reflect that intention. These materials are available for download below and may be useful, whether a UC location chooses to voluntarily implement these guidelines or pursue formal policy adoption. All are welcome to use and adapt the materials created by this work group to fit the needs of their own organization.

For any questions, comments, and updates about healthy vending progress at your campus/location, please contact the UC Healthy Vending Work Group co-chairs:

Kyrie Bass, UCLA, or (310) 825-1016

Janice Kao, UC ANR Nutrition Policy Institute, or (510) 642-3589

We are always interested in hearing about healthy vending policies and initiatives taking place in other higher education settings, and welcome the opportunity to collaborate!

UC Healthy Vending materials

Version for voluntary implementation:



Version for policy adoption:

Policy formatted in the UC presidential policy template 

Implementation and other support materials:

Best practices implementation toolkit

This toolkit contains useful information for implementing the healthy vending guidelines (whether being done voluntarily or formalized as a policy) and includes topics around meeting with vendors, product promotion, forming partnerships and other information to help you successfully add healthy products to your vending machines. It also gives more detail about the purpose and methodology behind the policy and toolkit.

Elevator pitch 

Business case 

The elevator pitch and business case are shorter pieces that were originally developed to help explain why a systemwide policy is needed. Either one can be adapted to the needs of your own campus, whether you are working on adopting your own formalized policy or garnering support to voluntarily implement guidelines.

Nutrition calculator

To help determine if your vended snack, entrée, or meal product meets the UC Healthy Vending nutrition standards, try using this nutrition calculator.

National Drinking Water Alliance

The National Drinking Water Alliance is a network of organizations and individuals across the United States working to ensure that all children can drink safe water in the places where they live, learn and play.

The National Drinking Water Alliance website is a nationwide clearinghouse for essential drinking water research and resources.

Measuring Beverage Intake in Children and 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 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.

Public Comments and Recommendations

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 

  • Comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed rule that would revise SNAP regulations to standardize the methodology for calculating standard utility allowances (12/2/19)
  • Comments on the USDA's proposed rule that would revise the definition of categorical eligibility in the SNAP, second comment period (11/1/19)
  • University of California comments on the USDA proposed rule that would revise the definition of categorical eligibility in the SNAP (9/23/19)
  • Comments on the USDA's proposed rule that would revise the requirements for able-bodies adults without dependents (ABAWDs) in the SNAP (4/2/19)
  • Comments on the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services "Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds" proposed rule (12/10/18)

School Meal Programs

  • Comments on "Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements" (1/29/18) 

Nutrition Facts Label

  • Comments on updating Nutrition Facts Label (5/26/17)

2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

  • Nutrition Policy Institute comments (1/3/17)
  • National Drinking Water Alliance comments (12/23/16)

Infant Formula Labeling

  • Comments on infant formula labeling (10/25/16)

2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

  • Best of science letter on drinking water (9/10/14)

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

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