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Eating Well in Government Venues

Model policies on healthy food service guidelines

Model Legal Document
Food & Beverages

Policymakers can promote public health by adopting food service guidelines with nutrition standards for food served and sold on government property.

Such standards help ensure that consumers, including government employees and members of the public, have healthy food options when they are not eating at home. Americans are eating more food prepared away from home than ever before. In 1970, 26 percent of all food spending was on food prepared away from home; by 2012, it was 43 percent. Nutrition standards are one way of improving the quality of food available to consumers when they are purchasing food prepared away from home.

ChangeLab Solutions has created model policies that policymakers can use to improve food service guidelines by including nutrition standards for foods and beverages served or sold on state or local government property. The policies cover vending machines, concession stands, cafeterias, and food provided at meetings and events. The introduction to the model policies also discusses how the public health community can leverage existing equitable contracting programs and processes to ensure that healthy food procurement contracts promote both good nutrition and equity.

For community leaders who would like more background information to aid them in adopting healthy food service guidelines, our companion infographic and fact sheet provide an overview of how the purchasing decisions of large institutions can contribute to a more equitable food system and what tools governments can use to implement health-promoting procurement practices. You may also be interested in our other procurement resources below. In addition, check out our additional website on using healthier food service guidelines.