Select briefs, reports, and other materials are organized by topic below. Feel free to contact the listed authors with any related inquiries.

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Research Brief: Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption declined among 7-10th grade students in San Francisco, California, from 2015-2019

Sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) contribute to diet-related disease, and SSB consumption is higher among youth than adults. The city of San Francisco, CA passed a slate of policies aiming to reduce SSB consumption between 2014-2018; as such policies are passed, it is important to monitor local trends in SSB consumption. Using a repeated cross-sectional study design, we examined trends in SSB consumption among middle and high school students in San Francisco from 2015-2019.

UC Center Sacramento Presentation

Why Soda Taxes Can Address Pandemics and Direct Public Dollars to Equity

On September 30, 2020, Dr. Kristine Madsen presented the most recent evidence on the impact of SSB taxes on public health and how such taxes can save billions of dollars in health-care spending. She shared new research documenting how revenues from soda taxes in the U.S. are being used, including how they have supported a rapid response to the COVID-19 crisis. She also discussed the potential impacts of these revenues being invested in historically disenfranchised neighborhoods and communities.

Infographic – SSBs and Tooth Decay

We already know that sugary drinks kill thousands across the globe each year in part by contributing to diabetes and obesity. But soda consumption also causes tooth decay, the #1 most prevalent disease in the world. Unlike diabetes and obesity, tooth decay can occur within a matter of months, especially in young children. Tooth decay affects nearly everyone, but is especially prevalent in low-income areas and among people with high sugar consumption and low access to fluoride.

Healthy School Meals

Research Brief: Innovations in School Meals

The “Multi-Pronged Intervention to Increase Secondary Student Participation in School Lunch” was a 3-year quasi-experimental study to examine novel methods for increasing school-meal participation. This study was implemented in partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) during the 2015-2018 school years. Main outcomes were school meal participation, self-reported fruit and vegetable consumption and school meal perceptions among students.

Improving Physical Education

Research Brief: Access to Credentialed Elementary PE Teachers in California and Students’ Cardiorespiratory Fitness

This new study shows that access to elementary physical education teachers in California is lacking and may be negatively impacting student health. Many California public elementary schools do not provide the PE minutes required by law and half of California school districts don’t have elementary PE teachers on staff.

Policy Brief: Improving Compliance with PE Education Law in California Elementary Schools

The strategic goal of this research is to support districts, schools, and teachers in providing the state-mandated 200 minutes of PE every 10 days for elementary students. This policy brief details action steps that can be taken to achieve that goal.

Building Youths’ Social Capital

Research Brief: Increasing Youth Serving Organizations’ Capacity to Build Social Capital Among Youth

Social capital – connections to resources and opportunities through social and community networks – improves a youth’s likelihood of future employment, educational achievement, and healthy development. Youth-serving organizations (YSOs) present adolescents opportunities to grow and strengthen their social networks, increasing their overall net social capital. Our project employed a community-based participatory action research (CBPR) approach to assess if and how YSOs in California integrate social capital into their programming and if YSOs see a need for a social-capital curriculum or measurement tools related to social capital.

Sustainable Eating Project

Eating for The Climate

In the context of climate change and growing concerns for healthier food systems, plant-forward dining is gaining momentum. Putting plants at the center of our plates provides both environmental and health benefits. Plant-forwarding dining is advanced by a multitude of higher education institutions and by prominent initiatives such as Menus of Change and the Good Food Institute. Here at UC Berkeley, we seek to understand the best strategies to support our students in shifting towards healthier and more sustainable food systems.

The Fit Study

Research Brief: Body Mass Index (BMI) Reports Do Not Improve Student Health

The Fit Study was a 3-year randomized controlled trial designed to help schools make evidence-based decisions about the practice of school-based body mass index (BMI) screening and reporting. We found that sending BMI reports to parents did not improve students’ weight status and may increase students’ body dissatisfaction.