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UC’s Case Studies Focus on Food Policy

University of California researchers have compiled all of the educational system’s studies on food policy into one report in an effort to present more complete information to lawmakers.

“Research from public universities is a vital resource to help policymakers understand and address complex social problems and develop innovative policy solutions,” researchers said in the report. “Good research is helpful — if not essential — in dealing with challenges in food and agriculture systems at the local, national and global levels.”

One of those studies, for instance, focuses on vending machine habits at UCLA. The study found that many people opt for healthier snacks when using vending machines on campus. 

That research could influence legislation to alter the offerings in vending machines in state buildings and other public places.  

UC researchers also studied the financial effects of limiting sale of hot-selling soda, chips and candy in California’s schools — and found that cutting the sale of junk food actually meant an increase in finances, because it nudged students to eat healthy meals, which ended up raising federal reimbursement money.

“As food systems intersect with some of the most urgent environmental, economic, social and cultural issues of our time multidisciplinary knowledge and solid scientific information are particularly critical to develop effective public responses,” the report said.

The report was issued by the UC Global Food Initiative’s Research to Policy working group.

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