Sodium Reduction


State Stories: Sodium Reduction and Healthy Procurement Efforts

Iowa Leverages Food Service Contracts and Healthy Vending to Reduce Sodium in State Agencies

In 2012, Iowa’s Governor announced the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation in just five years. One action the governor took to support this goal was make a commitment statement that Iowa state agencies would pursue the adoption of the American Heart Association (AHA) Nutrition Standards for Procurement of Food and Beverages in the Workplace. When the legislative approach requiring cafeterias in state agencies to adopt nutrition standards (Senate Study Bill 1176) did not pass, the governor sent a letter to all state agencies urging them to voluntarily adopt the nutrition standards, including lower sodium targets. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and American Heart Association were key champions for nutrition standards and led the implementation efforts across state agencies. They convened a work group in April 2013 made up of representatives from state facilitates and agencies tasked with creating nutritional guideline consensus for food and beverage procurement in state agencies, addressing concerns and opportunities regarding implementation, monitoring of implementation, and identifying training needs for implementation of the required changes. IDPH has successfully worked with the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to include healthier eating standards in the food service contracts for cafeteria services in state agencies. The IDPH Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion had already designed and launched a strategic Nutrition Environment Measures Survey-Vending (NEMS-V) project that built a relationship with the Department for the Blind vendors throughout the state, since the NEMS program emphasized lower sodium levels. IDPH has established a Memorandum ofUnderstanding (MOU) with the Department for the Blind (IDB) to support healthy vending on the State of Iowa Capitol complex. IDPH and IDB are working collaboratively to assist Business Enterprise Program vendors in working towards the goal of providing 25% of all packaged food choices and 50% of available beverage choices that meet the NEMS-V criteria and identify them using color-coded product markers.

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