- Author: Brianna Aguayo Villalon
- Editor: Danielle Lee
- Editor: Gail Woodward
The article, “Associations between Changes in Food Acquisition Behaviors, Dietary Intake, and Bodyweight during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Low-Income Parents in California” was recently published in the Nutrients journal. Low-income parents in California reported changes in food/meal acquisition behaviors, dietary intake, and body weight from before to during the pandemic through an online survey conducted from April through August 2021. The study found that decreased supermarket or farmer's market shopping was associated with decreased fruit and vegetable intake and increased unhealthy snack consumption. Online food and meal ordering were associated with higher intakes of sweets, salty snacks, fast food, and increases in weight. Increases in cooking healthy home meals were associated with improved nutrition outcomes. This research suggests a need for interventions that support healthy home cooking and address the negative effects of online food/meal shopping to help mitigate health disparities post-pandemic and prepare for future similar emergencies. The study was led by Nutrition Policy Institute researchers, Gail Woodward-Lopez, Erin Esaryk, Suzanne Rauzon, Sridharshi C. Hewawitharana, with Hannah R. Thompson of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, and California Department of Public Health co-authors Ingrid Cordon and Lauren Whetstone.
The School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley was recently granted candidacy for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics for their new Berkeley Public Health Dietetic Internship program. The program aims to create a new public health dietetic internship model that will prepare students to tackle adaptive changes from clinic to the community and from qualitative and quantitative to policy and food systems. The program is a two-year internship that currently accepts 10 interns annually during the fall who are admitted to the Master's in Public Health Nutrition at UC Berkeley. Students must have completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics to apply. The Nutrition Policy Institute will be a host organization for the program, and several NPI researchers—Lorrene Ritchie, Wendi Gosliner, Miranda Westfall, Suzanne Rauzon and Danielle Lee—serve on the program's advisory board. Applications to join the inaugural 2024 cohort are due December 4, 2023, at 8:59pm PST. Potential students are encouraged to attend the upcoming virtual and in-person open house informational sessions on November 14 and 16, 2023. For further questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article “Parent perceptions of changes in eating behavior during COVID-19 of school-aged children from Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) eligible households in California” was recently published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports. The study examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the eating behaviors of school-aged children from households with low income eligible for the Supplemental Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) in California. Researchers assessed parent perceptions of changes in their children's eating habits throughout the pandemic, identifying shifts in dietary patterns that included a decreased use of school meals, and other changes observed by parents such as cooking at home, fast food, and fruits and vegetable consumption. The research underscores the need for tailored strategies in schools and at home to support the nutritional well-being of children during future public health emergency conditions. The study was led by Nutrition Policy Institute researchers Suzanne Rauzon, Sri Hewawitharana, Erin Esaryk, Hannah Thompson, Gail Woodward-Lopez, and California Department of Public Health co-authors Lauren Whetstone and Ingrid Cordon.
Nutrition Policy Institute researchers are partnering with pediatrician and public health researcher Anisha Patel from Stanford University on a new National Institutes of Health-funded study to understand the impact of a childcare-based healthy beverage intervention. The study is titled, “A Multi-Level Intervention to Promote Healthy Beverage Intake through Childcare.” NPI researchers will be responsible for evaluating the intervention's impact on child drinking water intake and dietary intake. The study builds on NPI's previous collaboration with Patel to evaluate a similar intervention in school settings as part of “The Impact of School Water Access on Child Food and Beverage Intake and Obesity” study, also funded by the NIH. The NPI research team includes Lorrene Ritchie, cooperative extension specialist and director of NPI, who will be working with NPI's Christina Hecht, director of NPI's National Drinking Water Alliance, Suzanne Rauzon, Celeste Felix, Nicole Vital and Patricia Wakimoto. The five-year project began in August 2021.
Nutrition Policy Institute's Suzanne Rauzon received funding from the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute to conduct a community health needs assessment for community members served by Kaiser Permanente in California. The 10-month project began in February 2021.