California Food Policy Advocates

Oakland, California, United States

California Food Policy Advocates

Oakland, California, United States

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PubMed | California Food Policy Advocates, University of California at San Francisco, Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Research and Evaluation, Oakland University and University of California at Berkeley
Type: | Journal: Preventing chronic disease | Year: 2015

Drinking water is promoted to improve beverage nutrition and reduce the prevalence of obesity. The aims of this study were to identify how water was provided to young children in child care and to determine the extent to which water access changed after a federal and state child care beverage policy was instituted in 2011 and 2012 in California.Two independent cross-sectional samples of licensed child care providers completed a self-administered survey in 2008 (n = 429) and 2012 (n = 435). Logistic regression was used to analyze data for differences between 2008 and 2012 survey responses, after adjustment for correlations among the measurements in each of 6 child care categories sampled.A significantly larger percentage of sites in 2012 than in 2008 always served water at the table with meals or snacks (47.0% vs 28.0%, P = .001). A significantly larger percentage of child care sites in 2012 than in 2008 made water easily and visibly available for children to self-serve both indoors (77.9% vs 69.0%, P = .02) and outside (78.0% vs 69.0%, P = .03). Sites that participated in the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program had greater access to water indoors and outside than sites not in the program. In 2012 most (76.1%) child care providers reported no barriers to serving water to children. Factors most frequently cited to facilitate serving water were information for families (39.0% of sites), beverage policy (37.0%), and lessons for children (37.9%).Water provision in California child care improved significantly between samples of sites studied in 2008 and 2012, but room for improvement remains after policy implementation. Additional training for child care providers and parents should be considered.


Ritchie L.D.,University of California | Rosen N.J.,Informing Change | Rosen N.J.,University of California at Berkeley | Fenton K.,University of California at Berkeley | And 4 more authors.
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics | Year: 2016

Background: Breakfast skipping has been associated with obesity. Schools have adopted breakfast policies to increase breakfast participation. Recently, there have been concerns that students in schools where breakfast is served in the classroom may be eating two breakfasts-one at home and one at school-thereby increasing their risk of excessive energy intake and weight gain. Objective: The study objective was to compare the prevalence of not eating breakfast, eating breakfast at home or school only, and eating double breakfasts (home and school) by students in schools with distinct breakfast policies and evaluate the relationship of breakfast policy to energy intake and diet quality. Design: Baseline data were collected in 2011-2012 as part of a cluster randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a school-based intervention to promote fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity in low-resource elementary schools in California. Participants/setting: Participants were 3,944 fourth and fifth graders from 43 schools, 20 served breakfast in the cafeteria before school, 17 served breakfast in the classroom at the start of school, and 6 served "second chance" breakfast (in the cafeteria before school and again at first recess). Statistical analysis: As part of a secondary data analysis, differences in school and individual characteristics by school breakfast policy were assessed by χ2 test of independence or analysis of variance. Associations between school breakfast policy and breakfast eating patterns were assessed. Outcomes included calorie intake at breakfast, total daily calorie intake, and diet quality as measured by the Healthy Eating Index 2010. Control variables included student race/ethnicity, grade, and language spoken at home, and clustering of students by school. Results: Breakfast in the classroom was associated with fewer students not eating breakfast (P<0.001), but more eating breakfast at both home and school (P<0.001). Students in the breakfast in the classroom group did not have higher mean energy intakes from breakfast or higher daily energy intakes that were higher than other breakfast policy groups. The breakfast in the classroom group had higher overall diet quality (P=0.01). Conclusions: No evidence was found to support discontinuation of breakfast in the classroom policy on the basis of concerns that children will eat excess calories. © 2016 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Patel A.I.,University of California at San Francisco | Chandran K.,California Food Policy Advocates | Hampton K.E.,ChangeLab Solutions formerly known as Public Health Law and Policy | Hecht K.,California Food Policy Advocates | And 4 more authors.
Preventing Chronic Disease | Year: 2012

Introduction: Recent legislation requires schools to provide free drinking water in food service areas (FSAs). Our objective was to describe access to water at baseline and student water intake in school FSAs and to examine barriers to and strategies for implementation of drinking water requirements. Methods: We randomly sampled 24 California Bay Area public schools. We interviewed 1 administrator per school to assess knowledge of water legislation and barriers to and ideas for policy implementation. We observed water access and students' intake of free water in school FSAs. Wellness policies were examined for language about water in FSAs. Results: Fourteen of 24 schools offered free water in FSAs; 10 offered water via fountains, and 4 provided water through a nonfountain source. Four percent of students drank free water at lunch; intake at elementary schools (11%) was higher than at middle or junior high schools (6%) and high schools (1%). In secondary schools when water was provided by a nonfountain source, the percentage of students who drank free water doubled. Barriers to implementation of water requirements included lack of knowledge of legislation, cost, and other pressing academic concerns. No wellness policies included language about water in FSAs. Conclusion: Approximately half of schools offered free water in FSAs before implementation of drinking water requirements, and most met requirements through a fountain. Only 1 in 25 students drank free water in FSAs. Although schools can meet regulations through installation of fountains, more appealing water delivery systems may be necessary to increase students' water intake at mealtimes.


Patel A.I.,University of California at San Francisco | Hecht K.,California Food Policy Advocates | Hampton K.E.,Changelab Solutions | Grumbach J.M.,University of California at San Francisco | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

Objectives. We examined free drinking water access in schools. Methods. We conducted cross-sectional interviews with administrators from 240 California public schools from May to November 2011 to examine the proportion of schools that met excellent water access criteria (i.e., location, density, type, maintenance, and appeal of water sources), school-level characteristics associated with excellent water access, and barriers to improvements. Results. No schools met all criteria for excellent water access. High schools and middle schools had lower fountain:student ratios than elementary schools (odds ratio [OR] = 0.06; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02, 0.20; OR = 0.30, 95% CI = 0.12, 0.70). Rural schools were more likely to offer a nonfountain water source than city schools (OR = 5.0; 95% CI = 1.74, 14.70). Newer schools were more likely to maintain water sources than older schools (OR = 0.98; 95% CI = 0.97, 1.00). Schools that offered free water in food service areas increased from pre-to postimplementation of California's school water policy (72%-83%; P < .048). Barriers to improving school water included cost of programs and other pressing concerns. Conclusions. Awareness of the benefits related to school drinking water provision and funding may help communities achieve excellence in drinking water access.


Patel A.I.,University of California at San Francisco | Grummon A.H.,University of California | Hampton K.E.,Enigami Ventures LLC | Oliva A.,California Food Policy Advocates | And 2 more authors.
Preventing Chronic Disease | Year: 2016

Introduction: US legislation requires that schools offer free drinking water where meals are served. However, little information is available about what types of water delivery systems schools should install to meet such requirements. The study objective was to examine the efficacy and cost of 2 water delivery systems (water dispensers and bottleless water coolers) in increasing students' lunchtime intake of water in low-income middle schools. Methods: In 2013, twelve middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area participated in a cluster randomized controlled trial in which they received 6 weeks of promotional activities, received provision of cups, and were assigned to 1 of 2 cafeteria water delivery systems: water dispensers or bottleless water coolers (or schools served as a control). Student surveys (n = 595) and observations examined the interventions' effect on students' beverage intake and staff surveys and public data assessed intervention cost. Results: Analysis occurred from 2013 through 2015. Mixed-effects logistic regression, accounting for clustering and adjustment for student sociodemographic characteristics, demonstrated a significant increase in the odds of students drinking water in schools with promotion plus water dispensers and cups (adjusted odds ratio = 3.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-6.7; P = .004) compared with schools with traditional drinking fountains and no cups or promotion. The cost of dispenser and bottleless water cooler programs was similar ($0.04 per student per day). Conclusion: Instead of relying on traditional drinking fountains, schools should consider installing water sources, such as plastic dispensers with cups, as a low-cost, effective means for increasing students' water intake.


Ritchie L.D.,University of California | Rosen N.J.,University of California at Berkeley | Fenton K.,Seattle Genetics | Au L.E.,University of California | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics | Year: 2015

Background: Breakfast skipping has been associated with obesity. Schools have adopted breakfast policies to increase breakfast participation. Recently, there have been concerns that students in schools where breakfast is served in the classroom may be eating two breakfasts-one at home and one at school-thereby increasing their risk of excessive energy intake and weight gain. Objective: The study objective was to compare the prevalence of not eating breakfast, eating breakfast at home or school only, and eating double breakfasts (home and school) by students in schools with distinct breakfast policies and evaluate the relationship of breakfast policy to energy intake and diet quality. Design: Baseline data were collected in 2011-2012 as part of a cluster randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a school-based intervention to promote fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity in low-resource elementary schools in California. Participants/setting: Participants were 3,944 fourth and fifth graders from 43 schools, 20 served breakfast in the cafeteria before school, 17 served breakfast in the classroom at the start of school, and 6 served "second chance" breakfast (in the cafeteria before school and again at first recess). Statistical analysis: As part of a secondary data analysis, differences in school and individual characteristics by school breakfast policy were assessed by χ2 test of independence or analysis of variance. Associations between school breakfast policy and breakfast eating patterns were assessed. Outcomes included calorie intake at breakfast, total daily calorie intake, and diet quality as measured by the Healthy Eating Index 2010. Control variables included student race/ethnicity, grade, and language spoken at home, and clustering of students by school. Results: Breakfast in the classroom was associated with fewer students not eating breakfast (P<0.001), but more eating breakfast at both home and school (P<0.001). Students in the breakfast in the classroom group did not have higher mean energy intakes from breakfast or higher daily energy intakes that were higher than other breakfast policy groups. The breakfast in the classroom group had higher overall diet quality (P=0.01). Conclusions: No evidence was found to support discontinuation of breakfast in the classroom policy on the basis of concerns that children will eat excess calories. © 2015 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Ritchie L.D.,University of California at Berkeley | Boyle M.,Samuels And Associates | Chandran K.,California Food Policy Advocates | Spector P.,University of California at Berkeley | And 5 more authors.
Childhood Obesity | Year: 2012

Background: Nearly two million California children regularly spend time in child care. Surprisingly little is known about the nutrition environments of these settings. The aim of this study was to compare foods and beverages served to 2- to 5-year-olds by type of child care and participation in the federally funded Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Methods: A statewide survey of child care providers (n = 429) was administered. Licensed child care was divided into six categories: Head Start centers, state preschools, centers that participate in CACFP, non-CACFP centers, homes that participate in CACFP, and non-CACFP homes. Results: CACFP sites in general, and Head Start centers in particular, served more fruits, vegetables, milk, and meat/meat alternatives, and fewer sweetened beverages and other sweets and snack-type items than non-CACFP sites. Reported barriers to providing nutritious foods included high food costs and lack of training. Conclusions: CACFP participation may be one means by which reimbursement for food can be increased and food offerings improved. Further research should investigate whether promoting CACFP participation can be used to provide healthier nutrition environments in child care and prevent obesity in young children. © 2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Langellier B.A.,University of California at Los Angeles | Chaparro M.P.,University of California at Los Angeles | Sharp M.,California Food Policy Advocates | Birnbach K.,California Food Policy Advocates | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition | Year: 2013

Data from 66 446 low-income adults who participated in the California Health Interview Survey are used to describe trends in food insecurity between 2001 and 2009. Food security was assessed using the short form of the Household Food Security Survey Module. There was a statistically significant increase in food insecurity between 2001 and 2009, from 28.6% to 40.5%. During the same time period, the prevalence of very low food security nearly doubled, from 8.3% to 15%. The increase in food insecurity remained significant even after controlling for differences in income, employment status, participation in food assistance programs, and other sociodemographic factors. © 2013 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Kass N.,Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics | Hecht K.,California Food Policy Advocates | Paul A.,Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics | Birnbach K.,California Food Policy Advocates
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

Obesity and overweight prevalence soared to unprecedented levels in the United States, with 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 6 children currently categorized as obese. Althoughmany approaches have been taken to encourage individual behavior change, policies increasingly attempt to modify environments to have a more positive influence on individuals' food and drink choices. Several policy proposals target sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), consumption of which has become the largest contributor to Americans' caloric intake. Yet proposals have been criticized for unduly inhibiting choice, being overly paternalistic, and stigmatizing low-income populations. We explored the ethical acceptability of 3 approaches to reduce SSB consumption: restricting sale of SSBs in public schools, levying significant taxes on SSBs, and prohibiting the use of Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (formerly food stamps) benefits for SSB purchases.


Shimada T.,California Food Policy Advocates | Ross M.,University of California at Berkeley | Campbell E.C.,University of California at Berkeley | Webb K.L.,University of California at Berkeley
Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition | Year: 2013

A nonprofit policy advocacy organization and an academic research center convened a one-day meeting of 20 key stakeholders from the emergency food network (EFN) to develop policy and practice recommendations that were vltimately crafted by the advocate-researcher team and aimed at improving the nutritional quality of emergency food. The convening was informed by recent studies of food bank inventory trends and aspects of food bank culture, capacity, and practices relating to nutrition. Recommendations were developed to establish nutrition standards for government-sourced emergency food and to review tax benefits for commercial food donations. Recommendations were also developed for EFN agencies to establish organizational nutrition guidelines, adopt metrics that incorporate the nutritional quality of distributed food, and advocate improvements to federal safety net programs. © 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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