UC Researchers Awarded Nearly $2 Million For Childhood Obesity Prevention Project

The UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Nutrition Policy Institute and UC Berkeley School of Public Health have been awarded $2 million to create technology that can be used in public middle and high schools to prevent childhood obesity. The San Francisco Unified School District will be using “SmartMeal,” a virtual menu filled with healthy options that students can order on iPads for lunch. Sixty percent of the district’s students are eligible for the free lunch program. Improving the diets of these low-income youth is essential in reducing the risk of childhood obesity, and school meals are a critical part of their overall nutrition. The program will be using mobile food carts and vending machines stocked with healthy options, and an app that can be used to pre-order meals to increase convenience. These practices are expected to improve student participation.

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