Chronic Disease

Improving Healthy Food Services

With support from CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, ASTHO is working to engage state health officials in the development of a national strategy to improve the healthfulness of food served and sold across states, with a focus on reducing sodium and added sugar. Through a collaborative effort of public health leaders and private sector partners including food service management companies, ASTHO aims to support state health agencies and private sector partners, such as food service management companies, in creating healthier food environments in state owned and operated facilities, parks, worksites, hospitals, universities and other settings.

Reducing Sodium and Added Sugar Through Partnerships

Working with Food Service Management Companies to Improve Healthy Food Offerings: Considerations for State Public Health Agencies
This issue brief outlines key insights for state health agencies to consider when working on food service guidelines and industry partnerships. To formulate those insights, ASTHO and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) interviewed food service management companies, surveyed state chronic disease directors, and hosted virtual roundtable discussions.
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Food Service Management Company Insights and Opportunities to Improve Nutrition in the Food Supply
This issue brief explores efforts around improving the nutritional quality of foods offered and served by food service management companies (FSMCs) to support state health agencies and partners with implementing healthy food service guidelines for health promotion and disease prevention.
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Industry Snapshots: Reducing Sodium and Added Sugars at Leading Academic Institutions and FSMCs
To learn more about how FSMCs are improving the nutritional quality of food served and sold across a variety of settings, ASTHO interviewed national and regional FSMCs across the United States. These snapshots highlight different approaches food service operators are using to reduce sodium and added sugar in their offerings. They can help public health leaders and practitioners learn more about the range of FSMC nutrition initiatives, identify common goals across public health entities and the private sector, and consider opportunities for aligning efforts.

  • Harvard University Dining Services - Harvard partnered with food manufacturers to implement changes across campus dining options and assist customers with making healthier food choices. Read snapshot »
  • Selrico - Selrico Services (Selrico), a regional, family-owned FSMC that serves government organizations, institutional facilities, and commercial companies, partnered with the city of San Antonio (TX) to address sodium levels and added sugars in prekindergarten and senior feeding programs.
    Read snapshot »
  • Sodexo - Sodexo USA convened culinary, nutrition, and supply management leaders to develop action plans aimed at lowering sugar, salt, and fat in its ingredients, recipes, and menus. Read snapshot »

Promoting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

ASTHO, with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, is working to identify and promote the current uses of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) in order to educate and mobilize state health leadership to utilize and integrate the DGA throughout the state health agency. ASTHO has developed case studies and other resources to support implementation efforts. Read More »

State Health Agency Efforts to Implement Healthy Food Services

Salt and Your State Project Summary

State health agencies can prioritize implementation of healthy food service guidelines, sending a clear message to partners and policymakers, and helping to address the challenge of messaging for consumers. 

Sodium Reduction and Healthy Food Service Guidelines
From 2011-2015, ASTHO, with support from CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, led a technical assistance call series for 11 states aimed at building states' capacity for sodium reduction efforts. These sodium reduction efforts focused specifically on food service guidelines for foods sold and served by government agencies to improve the nutritional quality of food for state employees and state programs' clients. ASTHO developed state stories and a project summary to share results and lessons learned from the project.

Additional State Examples: Food Service Guidelines

CDC’s Food Service Guidelines: Case Studies from States and Communities highlights five case studies of food and beverage guidelines developed to improve the food environment. The case studies provide information on the implementation and evaluation of food service guidelines, along with descriptions of site-specific successes and challenges.

CDC’s Food Service Guidelines Highlights provide four states’ (HI, IA, KY, RI) efforts to implement food service guidelines in worksites through various mechanisms such as healthy vending programs and healthier meetings policies.