Gail Woodward-Lopez and Lorrene Ritchie quoted in Morning Ag Clips article on healthy default beverage policies for restaurant kids' meals

Aug 25, 2020

Lorrene Ritchie, director and cooperative extension specialist, and Gail Woodward-Lopez, director of research at the UC ANR Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) were quoted in an August 25, 2020 article in Morning Ag Clips titled "New policies can help provide healthy beverages to children." The article highlights California's Healthy Default Beverage law, California State Senate Bill 1192, which requires that all restaurants in California as of January 6, 2019 offer only healthy beverages -- plain water or unflavored milk -- as the default beverage with kids' meals. The article also highlights research findings from NPI researchers in collaboration with University of Delaware on the impact of the law in California and a similar law in Wilmington, Del. Dr. Ritchie is quoted, "Parents look at menu boards and kids look at menu boards, but it is likely that what the cashier says also influences which drink they choose. In our data collection, we would order a kids' meal and wait for them to offer a drink. But mostly they said, ‘What drink do you want?' instead of ‘Do you want water or milk with that?'”. Woodward-Lopez is quoted, “NPI in partnership with the California Department of Public Health is working with some local health departments to provide training and materials to help restaurants comply with the letter and spirit of the law. Our next step is to measure whether this health department support is effective. The role of default beverage policies in this context is important and not well understood.” Read the full article online