Sodium Reduction


State Stories: Sodium Reduction and Healthy Procurement Efforts

Connecticut Advances toward Nutrition Standards for State Purchased Food

Connecticut aims to establish a statewide food procurement policy setting nutrition standards, including sodium standards, on all food purchased by state agencies similar to Massachusetts Executive Order 509. The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the American Heart Association (AHA) are partnering together to work on this initiative and propose the policy during the 2015 legislative session. They are promoting the HHS/GSA Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations. In preparation, they are assessing the support and interest from current stakeholders and identifying and educating new partners. Additional key implementation steps include investigating the evidence-base and best practices; developing marketing materials including policy briefs; and establishing a workgroup of key stakeholders. AHA developed marketing materials to make the case for healthy food standards and DPH will use these materials to help get buy-in from other state agencies, including the Services for the Blind. Involved partners plan to monitor and evaluate this initiative by tracking perceived acceptance of the policy among key legislators, the number of partners that support or oppose the initiative, and whether the policy is proposed and passed in 2015.

The AHA and the DPH are also both members of the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services Food Advisory Board, a food procurement group for all state agencies. Additional member organizations of the Food Advisory Board include: Department of Corrections, CT Technical High Schools, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Southbury Training School, Department of Children and Families, CT Valley Hospital, CT Mental Health Centers, and others. DPH is represented on the Connecticut Childhood Obesity Task Force, a legislatively enacted task force created to bring together experts in preventing and controlling childhood obesity. This task force has a particular interest in improving nutrition standards in early childhood and school settings. AHA and DPH aim to strengthen the sodium targets in the proposed nutrition standards and expand these standards to benefit all Connecticut residents, not just children.