Sodium Reduction

Washington State

State Stories: Sodium Reduction and Healthy Procurement Efforts

Washington State Begins Implementation of Executive Order Requiring Healthy Nutrition Guidelines

In October 2013, Washington’s governor issued Executive Order 13-06, which requires all executive state agencies to adopt healthy nutrition guidelines. Nutrition guidelines were originally introduced in a bill drafted by the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition and American Heart Association in 2011. The bill did not pass, so the standards were introduced by Executive Order instead two years later. To develop the guidelines, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) created a Food Procurement Workgroup with funding from a Community Transformation Grant. The workgroup started developing healthy nutrition guidelines for four areas (cafeterias, vending, meetings, and institutional food services) based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 and the HHS/GSA Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations. Initially the guidelines did not have a strong sodium component, but Washington strengthened the sodium guidelines along with other sodium reduction efforts in worksites with support from CDC’s Sodium Reduction in Communities Program.

Implementation of the Executive Order began July 1, 2014, and the standards are set to be fully implemented by 2016. DOH developed an implementation guide for state agencies, and provided technical assistance to state agencies to prepare for policy adoption. As part of the Executive Order, all impacted state agencies must identify a wellness coordinator and strengthen wellness policies within their agencies. DOH is working with these wellness coordinators to implement the guidelines across agencies, and also developing printed communications materials to inform employees about the new cafeteria and vending machine guidelines. As an example of the technical assistance they are providing, DOH is compiling a list of low-sodium products available from the main food distributors to share with agencies to help facilitate implementation. Read more about Washington’s Healthy Nutrition Guidelines and implementation resources including model policies, sample contract language, and marketing materials on the DOH website.  

Washington State Resources: