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2016 News Archives

December 22, 2016

Dr. Lorrene Ritchie quoted in Huffington Post article

In a Huffington Post article by Joseph Erbentraut on efforts by conservative lawmakers in the House Freedom Caucus to do away with the school lunch program, Dr. Lorrene Ritchie, director of the Nutrition Policy Institute, was quoted about the benefits of the program. "If we want to improve child nutrition, there is no better way I know of that will impact so many children," she said about the school lunch program. "Repealing this seems to me to make no sense." The article went on to mention a study Ritchie helped author that was published in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The study found that meals served in the school lunch program were of a higher nutritional quality than meals brought from home.



December 13, 2016

Dr. Lorrene Ritchie discusses food insecurity on Farm To Table Talk podcast 

One out of every 7 households in the US is food insecure. Over half of our infants receive some type of federal food support (WIC). Beyond "farm to table," what happens when a nation's students are unable to get the nutrition they need? On the Farm To Table Talk podcast, Dr. Lorrene Ritchie, director of the Nutrition Policy Institute, sizes up the issue, explains the research findings and suggests a way forward where everyone can help.



December 5, 2016

Nutrition Policy Institute study highlights benefits of school lunch

Lunches served in the National School Lunch Program have higher nutritional quality than lunches brought from home, according to the largest comparison study conducted to date. Published in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dieteticsthe study, conducted by researchers at UC's Nutrition Policy Institute, involved nearly 4,000 elementary school students in Southern California.



October 20, 2016

The long-lasting impacts of using research to inform nutrition policies 

In a video profile created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, NPI researcher Lauren Au observes the long-lasting impacts of using research to inform nutrition policies.  Au notes that by encouraging access to healthy foods and healthy drinking options, and by promoting changes in behavior to improve health and well-being, nutrition policy initiatives can help reduce food insecurity, obesity, and diabetes in the U.S. and also serve as a model for other countries around the world. 



October 18, 2016

New resource on safe drinking water

The National Drinking Water Alliance recently launched its new online resource, a clearinghouse for drinking water research, policy, access and education. The website contains hundreds of useful tools, research studies, fact sheets, promotional materials and policy papers, as well as the latest developments in the field. The National Drinking Water Alliance is a coalition of nonprofits, academic institutions, advocates and individuals that works to ensure that all children are able to access safe drinking water in the places where they live, learn and play.



October 7, 2016

Sugar, Stress, Environment and Weight (SSEW) Symposium

Registration is now open for the 8th annual Sugar, Stress, Environment and Weight (SSEW) Symposium "Food & Addiction: Environment, Policy, and Individual Factors” on Thursday, October 27, 2016 from 10 am to 4 pm at UCSF Laurel Heights, S124 Auditorium. Join NPI’s Pat Crawford and Lorrene Ritchie for the exciting opportunity hear leading researchers, health professionals and influential policy makers from the UC system and beyond explore the intersections of biology, behavior, food and addiction, and discuss how to prevent food addiction across the lifespan for individuals and communities. Register.



September 1, 2016

NPI researchers receive NIH awards to study childhood obesity

Two researchers at the Nutrition Policy Institute have been awarded K01 Career Development Awards by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Lauren Au will research disparities in the relationship between the school nutrition environment and childhood obesity and Suzanna Martinez will study sleep duration and risk for obesity in Mexican American children.



August 11, 2016

NPI’s Director Ritchie named to Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Advisory Council

NPI’s Director, Lorrene Ritchie, was named to the Nutrition and Healthy Food Choices Advisory Council of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).  Each Advisory Council of the Foundation is composed of leading experts across the food and agriculture industry. The Foundation’s focus is on increasing the scientific and technological research, innovation and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. See press release here.

August 10, 2016

Views on Food Insecurity from UC Students

As part of the University of California Global Food Initiative, there was interest in understanding student perspectives on food insecurity. NPI and the Food Access and Security Committee, led by Ruben Canedo and Tim Galarneu, collaborated with UC students Sanna Alas, Tyler Watson and Ali Shahbaz, to create a video that puts a face on food insecurity and helps to raise awareness of the issue on UC campuses.



August 5, 2016

UC World Food Day Video Challenge

NPI, in collaboration with the UC Davis World Food Center and the UC Global Food Initiative, is hosting the World Food Day Video Challenge. Undergraduate and graduate students across all UC campuses are invited to submit short videos highlighting UC research addressing hunger, health and a more sustainable food system. The deadline for submissions is September 7, 2016. Please see http://worldfoodcenter.ucdavis.edu/video-challenge/ for more information. 



July 27, 2016

NPI's Lauren Au, Nutrition Hero

Dr. Lauren Au, a NPI researcher was proclaimed a nutrition hero in the Food & Nutrition Magazine, published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Read her profile here.



July 26, 2016

NPI applauds Smart Snacks for school children. For more information visit UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Food Blog.



July 21, 2016

NPI Researcher Suzanna Martinez interviewed about UC student food insecurity on KPFA

Dr. Suzanna Martinez was interviewed today by Pat Brooks on the Up Front Program on KPFA Berkeley’s radio station about a recent UC report about food insecurity among UC Students. Based on over 9,000 students surveys, the study found that 42% of UC students had some degree of food insecurity.



July 12, 2016

NPI Report on Food Insecurity Among UC Students

NPI recently conducted a survey of food insecurity among University of California students at all 10 campuses as part of President Napolitano’s Global Food Initiative. We found that 42% of students reported being food insecure in the past 12 months--meaning they experienced a diet poor in quality and/or reduced dietary intake, such as skipping meals or cutting the size of their meals due to lack of financial resources. The full report, Student Food Access and Security Study, includes the University of California systemwide results and plans for addressing the issue.



June 30, 2016

Implications of New Added Sugars Content on Nutrition Labels in the U.S.

NPI’s Pat Crawford comments on implications with other UC researchers on the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods in the U.S. For the first time, added sugars will appear on the label starting in 2018.



June 23, 2016

New NPI webinar about healthy foods in food banks - change of date

NPI researchers Liz Campbell, Laura Vollmer and Karen Webb will host a free webinar, "Fostering Partnerships: Supporting Healthful Foods in the Charitable Food Network" on Monday, June 23, 2016 from 10:00 to 11:30 am Pacific time. They will discuss nutrition guidelines and policies for food banks, and how Cooperative Extension, public health departments  and others can work collaboratively with food pantries and food banks to support improvements in healthful food procurement and distribution. 

*Please note: This event has been moved from Monday, June 13, 2016 to Thursday, June 23, 2016.



June 9, 2016

NPI Case Studies on School Kitchen Grants from USDA

new report from The Pew Charitable Trust includes results from 6 case studies conducted by NPI about the benefits of USDA kitchen-equipment grants to improve the school meal operations and nutrition quality of school meals. The case studies examine the benefits to school meal quality from small improvements to the school kitchen space. Thirteen more case studies will be released later this summer.



May 24, 2016

Effectiveness of online and in-person education in the WIC program

NPI researchers found that online delivery of education is an acceptable addition to traditional in-person education for WIC participants with online access. High-quality online education platforms represent an important avenue to promote continued satisfaction with nutrition education.



April 22, 2016

New nutrition standards for the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Lorrene Ritchie, PhD, RD, NPI's Director and CE Specialist at the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, commends the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a support letter upon the release of the Final Rule containing new nutrition standards for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)



April 18, 2016

New NPI study of intra-household gender dynamics and CalFresh enrollment

NPI, in collaboration with the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare, the UC Berkeley Law School, the UC Berkeley Department of Sociology, the University of San Francisco and the California Association of Food Banks, was awarded one of two 2016 Berkeley Food Institute seed grants. The research will explore intra-household gender dynamics among immigrant Latino households in California as a barrier to CalFresh enrollment. Anecdotal data suggests that male head of household opposition to CalFresh enrollment has contributed to lower uptake rates. The research will explore the nature and extent of this issue and develop program, outreach and policy recommendations. 



April 13, 2016

Nutrition standard for family child care settings

Researchers at NPI developed nutrition standards for family child care settings. The nutrition standards are based on evidence, feasibility and input from practice-based advisors so they are realistic and impactful on health.



April 13, 2016

WIC food changes improve children’s diets

Researchers at UC ANR’s Nutrition Policy Institute participated in a study that assessed the impact of 2009 changes in the WIC food package for young children.They found that children in WIC households were 5 times more likely than other comparable children to have eaten vegetables in a two-day period.  Eating other healthful foods also increased among the WIC children, although not as dramatically as green vegetable and bean consumption.  This study shows that modifying the WIC food package was an important and effective policy change, improving children’s diets and, potentially, their future health.



February 29, 2016

Dr. Ritchie discusses UC’s Global Food Initiative and NPI’s work on food insecurity among college students

NPI Director Ritchie spoke at the 2016 Push Leaders Forum on February 25 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. This is part of Presidents United to Solve Hunger, which is dedicated to harnessing the power of universities and their leadership to address hunger issues.



January 18, 2016

Lorrene Ritchie comments on the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Dr. Ritchie, NPI Director, commented about the sugar and beverage guidance in the new U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans with other UC experts in universityofcalifornia.edu News.