Hero Image

About Us

NPI Logo


Nutrition Policy Institute

What is the Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI)?

The Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) conducts and evaluates research related to the impact of nutrition and physical activity on public health. NPI prizes research that provides a strong basis for public policies that can eliminate health disparities, especially those stemming from lack of access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. The Institute is housed within the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of California. In early 2015 the staff and research projects of the Atkins Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley joined NPI. This unification expands the reach and breadth of NPI’s research to support healthy communities.

Our Vision:

NPI envisions a world in which healthy food, beverages and opportunities for physical activity are accessible, affordable, equitable and sustainable for everyone.

Our Mission:

NPI's mission is to conduct and translate policy-relevant research to transform environments for healthy children, families and communities.

Our Objectives:

  • Improve federal nutrition programs and policies
  • Pursue structural changes in food systems
  • Improve physical and social environments

Read more about our vision, mission and objectives.

Read more about our impact. 

What does the Nutrition Policy Institute do?

NPI brings together a wide range of experts who develop and conduct research on nutrition, food insecurity, physical activity, wellness, and the prevention of obesity, diabetes and other related health problems. Recent projects have focused on:

  • Community-based strategies, reaching people where they live, work, learn, play and shop, encouraging environmental change that fosters wellness;

  • Schools and childcare facilities that play a major role in children’s nutrition, activities and healthy habit formation;  

  • Food banks, emergency food services and federal nutrition programs that reach millions of people.  

NPI considers effective communication of scientifically valid information to both policymakers and community members to be critical. NPI translates research findings into evidence-based recommendations that provide a basis for effective decision-making. NPI is a resource for the California Legislature and other state, local and federal governmental bodies, providing reliable policy-related input and assessments of the effectiveness of policy implementation.


Nutrition Policy Institute partners

  • Local, state and federal agencies
  • Health advocates and policymakers
  • Nonprofit organizations and foundations
  • Community groups
  • Schools and childcare facilities
  • Cooperative Extension affiliates
  • University faculty and researchers


For more information

Lorrene Ritchie, PhD, RD
Director and Cooperative Extension Specialist


University of California, Office of the President

1111 Franklin Street

Oakland, CA 94607

Attention: Nutrition Policy Institute

Follow us on LinkedIn and X (formerly known as Twitter, @UCnpi)