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Food and Beverage Choices Policy

The University of California, Berkeley (“Berkeley”) is strongly committed to supporting the health and well-being of all members of the campus community by ensuring that healthy food and beverage choices are available in the foodservice operations identified in this policy. This policy establishes nutrition standards for retail foodservice and markets, vending machines, Athletic concessions, and University-sponsored meetings and events to ensure accessibility of whole and fresh foods, provide healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, and engage positive communications promoting healthier choices.

Food and Beverage Choices Policy - Full Version

Why We Have This Policy

A nutrition policy on the Berkeley campus is one of the most effective environmental strategies to address obesity, prevent diabetes, and improve the diet and health outcomes of the campus population. Health education alone—in the absence of change to the food environment —does not produce lasting behavioral change. This policy will help to ensure that healthy food and beverage choices are available in retail foodservice operations and markets, vending machines, Athletic concessions, and University-sponsored meetings and events. 

What is Required

Foodservice operations required to comply with this policy include:

  • University operated retail foodservice operations on campus, including Cal Dining and Cal Athletic Concessions.
  • University operated retail markets and convenience shops on campus.
  • Third-party tenants with new leases or lease renewals on campus.
  • Snack and beverage vending machines. 

Bear Minimum Nutrition Standards for Food

Healthy Approach to Variety and Choice:

  • Nutritious, fresh, whole foods that are minimally processed.
  • Options and ingredients from various cuisines, reflective of Berkeley’s cultural diversity.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit featured across meals and snacks; and available as sides.
  • Whole grain options provided; 100% whole grains are recommended as the standard choice.
  • Plant-based protein/entrée always available when meat entrée is offered.
  • Lean meats that are minimally processed. 
  • Trans-fat free plant oils.

Quality and Quantity:

  • Options of small/moderately-sized portions of baked items, pastries, and desserts.
  • Options of healthier breakfast fare.
  • Combination meals paired with sides of salad greens/non‐fried vegetables or fresh fruit (instead of fries or chips) if combination meals are provided.
  • Combination meals with half portion entrée paired with sides of salad greens/ non‐fried vegetables or fresh fruit if combination meals are provided.
  • Cooking techniques prioritize grilling, roasting, stir-fry, baking and poaching, with minimal deep-frying used as a preparation method. 

For more information, including vending criteria, see the full policy on the Campus Policies and Procedures website.

How You Can Support the Policy

Healthy Meeting and Event Guide - When University funds are used to purchase food or beverages for University meetings and events, members of the University community ordering or purchasing food and beverages should include nutritious and sustainable choices as outlined in this guide. In addition, water, preferably served in bulk to minimize use of single-use water bottles, must be offered as a choice when beverages are offered.

Provide feedback - Everyone in the campus community, including visitors, are encouraged to provide feedback to foodservice operators about adherence to the policy.

Policy Oversight

University Health Services is responsible for implementation and oversight of this policy. 

This policy is overseen by the Food and Beverage Choices Advisory Committee, which consists of registered dietitians and other public health experts.

Provide Feedback

Contact Kim Guess at kguess@berkeley.edu.

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