New NPI research brief highlights the importance of serving healthy beverages in child care

Jun 24, 2020

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are the largest single source of added sugars in the U.S. diet. Consumption of SSBs is a major contributing factor to excessive weight gain in young children and is linked to increased risk of dental decay, type-2 diabetes, metabolic dysfunction and heart disease later in life. For over 10 years, Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) researchers have been working closely with child care stakeholders and advocates from the California Food Policy Advocates to improve the beverages served in licensed child care settings. The implementation of California's Healthy Beverages in Child Care Act (CA AB 2084) in 2012 was a major milestone for this long-term collaboration, which requires all licensed child care providers in California to serve only healthy beverages and serve no SSBs to children in their care. NPI's latest research brief shares results from state wide surveys conducted in 2012 and 2016 in collaboration with CFPA and the Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Research & Evaluation that suggests only 45% of California child care providers are fully adherent to all four components of CA AB 2084:

  • Serve only low-fat or non-fat milk to children aged 2 years or older.
  • Limit juice to no more than one serving daily of 100% juice.
  • Serve no beverages with added sweeteners, either natural or artificial.
  • Make safe drinking water available and readily accessible throughout the day.

The research brief also shares how NPI researchers collaborated with the UCSF School of Nursing and the California Child Care Health Program, UC Cooperative Extension, and UC Merced to develop and evaluate a free, on-demand online training in English and Spanish to support child care providers to offer healthy beverages. The research brief is available online

By Danielle L. Lee
Author - Director of Communications & Research Engagement