By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
Aramark, the largest U.S.-based food service provider, has joined with the American Heart Association on a five-year initiative to make the meals it serves healthier. Changes will impact more than 2 billion meals served each year at schools, businesses, sports venues and elsewhere.
The initiative, called Healthy for Life 20 by 20, will implement a 20 percent reduction in calories, saturated fat and sodium and a 20 percent increase in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
“Experts have estimated that if the American public increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables to meet current public health recommendations, 127,000 lives could be saved each year,” said Al Royse, chairman of the AHA. “It’s essential that we make healthier options more easily available to consumers and empower them to choose these options for themselves and their families.”
Seventy-two percent of U.S. adults have a poor diet and more than two-thirds are overweight or obese, according to the AHA.
“We can use our scale and culinary expertise to help people lead healthier lives,” said Aramark chairman, president and CEO Eric J. Foss.
The initiative, supported by a grant from the Aramark Charitable Fund, also includes community health engagement programs that will focus on key underserved communities, beginning in Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia. Consumer health awareness and education programs will include cooking demonstrations and sampling, wellness workshops and access to digital health and nutrition information.