Creating healthier hospital food, beverage, and physical activity environments
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Creating healthier hospital food, beverage, and physical activity environments

  • August 2014

Filetype[PDF-955.98 KB]


  • Alternative Title:
    A Step-by-step guide to using the healthy hospital food, beverage and physical activity environment scans
  • Description:
    Hospitals are an important setting for public and health efforts to combat chronic diseases because of their reach among a large population of employees, patients, and visitors, as well as their effect on neighboring communities. This document provides guidance to hospital nutritionists, human resources and employee health staff, and others who wish to promote and support healthy food, beverage, and physical activity options in hospitals. This document is part of a toolkit which includes assessment tools for food, beverage and physical activity environments and a guide on conducting those assessments available here.

    During 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US General Services Administration (GSA) released guidelines that specify healthy food and sustainable procurement practices for all federal food service concessions and vending machines.1 In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released several guides to improve the food environment by using nutrition standards, with a focus on government procurement practices and sodium reduction.2,3 The food service standards1 and procurement guide2 were intended for federal work sites. The sodium reduction3 guide was designed for hospitals specifically. Lastly, the CDC has released recommendations for work sites on promoting physical activity by implementing Steps to Wellness: A Guide to Implementing the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in the Workplace.4

    There are several state-based efforts underway to promote healthier choices in work sites5 and some specifically in hospitals.6,7 There are also some tool kits that provide valuable resources for developing healthier food and beverage and sustainable procurement practices in work sites8 and hospitals.9, 10 This document will augment these materials by providing a hospital-specific rationale, as well as a step-by-step guide for implementing policy and environment changes to promote healthier food, beverage, and physical activity choices in hospitals. This document may also be applicable to other health care settings. This document will provide guidance on how to evaluate these efforts.


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