Food Service Guidelines Research and Operations Workgroup

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About

Food Service Guidelines are a set of voluntary best business practices that can be used to increase healthy and safe food options, often in public spaces. The guidelines are designed to achieve three key primary goals:

  • Healthier foods and beverages are available and encouraged to prevent chronic disease.
  • Environmentally responsible practices, including reduction of food waste, are conducted in food service.
  • Food safety practices are followed to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.

The Food Service Guidelines (FSG) Research and Operations workgroup is comprised of diverse researchers and evaluators from non-profit organizations, government, academia, and other stakeholders. It is co-hosted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Eating Research National Program and CDC. Members collaborate on FSG-related research, share evaluation methods and results, and consider tools needed to operationalize FSG.

The workgroup is part of a larger FSG Collaborative (FSGC) which includes government and non-government entities, including the CDC, Department of Defense, and Department of Interior, state and local health agencies, and non-profit organizations working to increase the availability of more healthful foods in the places we work, learn, serve, and recreate. To achieve this goal, the FSGC supports the use of Food Service Guidelines in a variety of settings (e.g. worksites, healthcare facilities, park and recreation venues, colleges and universities). The FSGC engages through 4 workgroups: Research and Operations, National Roadmap, FSG Policy, and Food Systems. It aims to:

  • Build the field by engaging diverse stakeholders to use, support, and evaluate Food Service Guidelines
  • Facilitate coordination and information-sharing to accelerate progress in providing healthier choices and thus improving the dietary quality of Americans, and identify gaps in knowledge and research
  • Identify gaps in knowledge about the food service system including production, purchasing, distribution, supply, availability, private sector FSG use, operations, and standard and best industry practices
  • Identify priorities for research and evaluation to assess the factors that lead to successful FSG use
  • Develop and disseminate strategies to support effective FSG use and progress toward this being a standard organizational practice.

Mission

Members of the FSG Research and Operations workgroup collaborate on FSG-related research and share evaluation methods and results.  The overarching goal of the workgroup is to increase the quantity and quality of research that benefits youth, adults, and families’ nutrition and healthy weight to improve health and wellness, with a specific focus on understanding FSG implementation and its impacts on:

  • Availability and promotion of healthier foods
  • Food service operations and profits
  • Customer knowledge and behavior (i.e. selection and purchase of healthier foods)
  • Diet quality as part of improved health and health related outcomes.

The workgroup is open to researchers or those interested in evaluation methods for FSG in cafeterias, vending machines, and micro-markets; operational practices that facilitate FSG implementation; or the application of behavioral design strategies to encourage sales of healthier foods.

Key Activities and Findings

Goal: Facilitate coordination and information sharing to accelerate progress in providing healthier offerings and identify gaps in knowledge and research

Key Activities:

  • Build a network of diverse researchers and leaders with expertise in nutrition standards, FSG research, evaluation, facility operations, and business models.
  • Convene regular meetings to provide updates on FSG research, implementation, and evaluation activities around the US and circulate notes from meetings
  • Develop collaborative projects that leverage our skills and experiences

Goal: Identify priorities for research and evaluation to assess the factors that lead to successful FSG use

Key Activities:

  • Develop research priorities to fill critical gaps as options for a variety of funders
  • Develop measures and evaluation guide for FSG in cafeterias and vending, drawing upon the experiences of FSGC members
  • Develop case studies/success stories to provide qualitative information that can be used to help future efforts to implement and evaluate FSG

Resources

Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/strategies/food-serv-guide.html

A tool for including healthy food service guidelines in contractual agreements http://www.exceedtool.com/

A Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/WorkplaceHealth/EmployerResources/Healthy-Workplace-Food-and-Beverage-Toolkit_UCM_465195_Article.jsp

Food Service Guidelines Resources used by States https://asphn.org/food-service-guidelines/

Healthy Hospital resources including a case series and toolkit with action planning materials and audits: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/strategies/healthy-hospital-env.html

State and Local Research Manuscripts

Nutrition Standards for Food Service Guidelines for Foods Served or Sold in Municipal Government Buildings or Worksites, United States, 2014. https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2016/16_0364.htm

Food Service Guideline Policies on State Government-Controlled Properties. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27630113

The development and adoption of the first statewide comprehensive policy on food service guidelines (Washington State Executive Order 13-06) for improving the health and productivity of state employees and institutionalized populations. https://academic.oup.com/tbm/advance-article/doi/10.1093/tbm/ibx069/4904541?guestAccessKey=d5846408-ab75-4d8e-9d45-e8a69cc7acff

Evaluating the Potential Health and Revenue Outcomes of a 100% Healthy Vending Machine Nutrition Policy at a Large Agency in Los Angeles County, 2013-2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29227423

Sales of healthy snacks and beverages following the implementation of healthy vending standards in City of Philadelphia vending machines. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29061207

Working with community partners to implement and evaluate the Chicago Park District’s 100% Healthier Snack Vending Initiative. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25101492

Operations

Implementing healthier foodservice guidelines in hospital and federal worksite cafeterias: barriers, facilitators and keys to success. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27126177

Review Papers

Nutritional labelling for healthier food or non-alcoholic drink purchasing and consumption. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29482264

Contacts

RESEARCH CONTACTS

Steve Onufrak, PhD   Epidemiologist

Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity

Seo5@cdc.gov

770-488-5551

 

Emily Welker, MPH, RD   Senior Research Associate

RWJF Healthy Eating Research Program

emily.welker@duke.edu

919-613-6266