Pdf commitment to building a culture of health

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Commitment to Building a Culture of Health

The American Heart Association applauds your efforts to build a healthier environment for your employees, members, customers and guests.

Our day-to-day environments play an important role in our health. By addressing the environments where we live, work, learn, heal, pray and play, we can achieve a culture of health for all Americans and make the healthy choice the easy choice.

People are eating, snacking and drinking everywhere. We want to ensure that each eating occasion is an opportunity to easily select healthier foods and drinks, no matter what the circumstance. And we want to transform the greater food environment so that food and beverage providers have the capacity to meet the growing demand for healthier products.

This is why we are requesting your commitment to actively work on improving your food and beverage environment. Below are our respective roles and the potential goal options.

The American Heart Association will:

Provide the American Heart Association Healthy Workplace/Community Food and Beverage Toolkit, assessment surveys and supporting resources.

Provide guidance to establish and implement an action plan.

The company/organization will:

Identify and support an internal champion to lead the organizational changes.

Complete online assessments of its environment to measure baseline and progress.

Share feedback and successes with the American Heart Association, as requested.

Commit to at least one of the goals and work toward completion.

Food and Beverage Goal Options

1. Improve vending machine beverage options by reducing the number of sugar-sweetened beverages. At least 50% of beverages offered in vending machines should be:

a. Water (plain, sparkling and flavored) ? no more than 10 calories per serving b. Fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk or milk alternatives (soy, almond, etc.) ? if flavored, no more than 130

calories/8 fl. oz. c. 100% fruit juice with no added sugar/sweeteners (except non-nutritive sweeteners) and:

- No more than 120 calories per 8 fl. oz. (preferred serving size) - No more than 150 calories per 10 fl. oz. - No more than 180 calories per 12 fl. oz. d. Other beverages ? no more than 10 calories per serving

Note: If already at 50%, then goal should be 75%. If already at 75%, then goal should be 100%.

2. Improve vending machine food options. At least 50% of foods offered in vending machines should meet these standards per label serving:

Standards for snack foods (other than plain nuts and nut/fruit mixes): a. No more than 200 calories b. No more than 240 mg sodium (preferably no more than 140 mg) c. No more than 1 g saturated fat d. No more than 0 g trans fat and no products containing partially hydrogenated oils

Standards for plain nuts and nut/fruit mixes: a. Acceptable nuts are almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts b. Mixes are nuts and fruit only; no chocolate or candy c. Serving size is no more than 1.5 oz d. No more than 140 mg sodium per serving (preferably lower; choose products with lowest amount)

Note: If already at 50%, then goal should be 75%. If already at 75%, then goal should be 100%.

3. Improve onsite and off-site meals provided and paid for by the company/organization by practicing all of the following: a. If served, breads are whole grain. Pasta and other grain products should be whole grain, if available. b. Offer at least one fruit or vegetable with every meal, preferably two. c. Serve foods prepared using healthier cooking methods (baked, grilled, roasted, steamed, etc.) instead of deep-fried and fried (including chips). d. Serve fruit instead of traditional desserts. (See toolkit for guidance on special events.) e. Serve water as the default beverage. Beverages provided should meet the beverage standards in the toolkit (and Goal 1 above). Do not offer regular soft drinks or pre-sweetened tea.

4. Improve the overall food and beverage environment to make healthier choices the easy option by practicing all of the following: a. If snacks are offered in common areas and in meetings, offer fruit and vegetables. b. If offering packaged snacks, check the Nutrition Facts and choose items consistent with the guidance and nutrition standards in the toolkit (and Goal 2 above). c. Discourage high-calorie/high-sugar foods such as donuts, cakes, cookies, pies, and candy. If these foods are offered: - Serve small portions. - Limit the amount of time they are available (guidance in toolkit suggests limiting to two hours). - Limit how frequently they are offered (suggestion is no more than once a month). - Always offer a healthy alternative such as fruit. d. Provide signage in common areas and at the point-of-purchase (if applicable) promoting healthier choices.

5. Improve a healthy food and beverage environment by implementing at least one innovative and high impact initiative other than those listed above. Examples include, but not limited to: a. Offer on-site farmers markets and/or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs for employees. b. Start an on-site company produce garden maintained and harvested by employees. c. Regularly provide a free or low-cost catered healthy breakfast or lunch. d. Offer regular healthy cooking classes for employees and their families. e. Offer on-going opportunities to engage employees through healthy product samples, tastings, cooking demonstrations, etc. f. Price healthier items competitively, offer discounts or subsidize items if needed to help ensure the healthier choices are not more expensive than regular choices. Note: We strongly encourage organizations to have addressed goals 1-4 before selecting this goal.

By acknowledging this commitment, your company/organization is taking an important step toward building a healthier environment.

Company/Organization Name: ___________________________________________________________

Complete Address: ____________________________________________________________________


Contact Name: _______________________________________________________________________

Title: _______________________________________________________________________________

Email: _____________________________________________ Phone: _________________________

Signature: _____________________________________________ Date: ________________________

(digital acceptable)

Targeted Goal(s): _______________________ Previously Completed Goal(s): ____________________

AHA Representative: _L_i_s_a__N__e_f_f ________________________________________________________

Email completed forms to lisa.neff@ or fax to 203-229-0594.

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