New study from Nutrition Policy Institute shows beverages improve in child care after California's 2010 Healthy Beverages in Child Care Act

Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) researchers' latest study of 680 licensed child care providers across California evaluating adherence to California's 2010 Healthy Beverages in Child Care Act (CA AB2084) suggests that nearly half were adherent to the policy in 2016, an increase from about one quarter shortly after the policy was implemented in 2012. The study was published in Preventing Chronic Disease. California's AB2084 policy requires licensed child care sites to (1) serve only lowfat or nonfat milk to children two years of age or older, (2) limit juice to not more than one serving per day of 100-percent juice, (3) serve no beverages with added sweeteners, either natural or artificial, and (4) make clean and safe drinking water readily available and accessible for consumption throughout the day. These requirements align with the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) nutrition standards. Providers participating in CACFP and child care centers were found to be more compliant than those not participating in CACFP and family child care homes, respectively. In 2016, providers were most adherent to the sugar-sweetened beverages (97%) and 100% juice (91%) requirements, while fewer were adherent to the requirements on drinking water (77%) and milk (65%). To support increased adherence to the beverage policy, NPI collaborated with Abbey Alkon from the UC San Francisco School of Nursing and California Childcare Health Program to develop a free online training in English and Spanish for California child care providers, funded by the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The statewide child care study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Healthy Eating Research Program, and was conducted in collaboration with Elyse Homel Vitale of the Child Care Food Program Roundtable (previously with California Food Policy Advocates) and Sallie Yoshida of Social Policy Research Associates (previously with Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Research & Evaluation).