Chronic Disease Prevention Webcast Series: Nutrition and Model Vending Standards



my name is iris Tiangco and is my pleasure to welcome you to naicho snoot rishon and model bending standards webcast i will be your narrator today for the first in a three-part webcast series about chronic disease prevention initiatives for local health departments as the national voice for local health department's the national association of county and city health officials is a leader partner in catalyst to ensure that people are able to make choices that help keep them healthier and live longer to make an impact on population chronic disease rates in the united states the nature chronic disease team works with local health department's to expand and promote evidence-based chronic disease prevention activities and promote policy systems and environmental change in communities the goal of this webcast is to help local health departments to adopt and use the nutrition and model vending standards at the local level this webcast is a part of a series that will highlight strategies that local health department's external stakeholders and citizens can use to encourage active living healthy eating physical activity and disease management and local communities they chose chronic disease team encourages partnerships with CDC national partners and other stakeholders that promote effective chronic disease prevention and management strategies and policies for nutrition and physical activity concerns the center for science in the public interest has contributed to local health department's efforts to develop model policies relating to chronic disease prevention nutrition food access and physical activity on this webcast Katy Bishop from CSPI will present on healthier food choices and bending hello everyone I'm Katie Bischoff I'm a nutrition policy associate at CSPI and I'm going to be talking to you a bit about healthy vending so many people are thinking about how to improve the foods and beverages sold in public places & Healthy Vending is one of the ways to do that the center for science in the public interest is a food nutrition and public health advocacy organization and we also coordinate the National Alliance for nutrition and activity or Nana a coalition of over four hundred and twenty national state and local organizations with a diversity of focus areas and perspectives at the national level we have groups like the American Heart Association American Public Health Association and naicho as well as many state and local groups including health departments for more information on nana feel free to visit the nana website healthy food choices for public places including healthy vending is a priority area for both CSPI and nana numerous factors contribute to obesity and we're working on many of them schools restaurant food grocery store checkouts but workplace nutrition is important as well almost half of our waking hours are spent at work and studies have shown that there's a relationship between the physical and social environments of the workplace and the health and behaviors of employees the food's available in employee cafeteria is in vending machines often determine what people eat throughout the day including for state and local governments which employ 17 million people and have many visitors each day in addition healthy food in public places is emerging as a promising low-cost public health strategy and it helps governments to walk the walk it undermines state and local prevention state and local obesity prevention work if we have large obesity prevention campaigns and then lack healthy options in the vending machines concession stands and cafeterias in public places it also helps to support and model healthy eating and shape social norms and more and more people are interested in healthier snack options in a 2010 survey by the snack food association they found that seventy-four percent of consumers are trying to eat healthier sixty-five percent are eating specific foods to lose weight and the sales of healthier snacks are outpacing traditional snacks for 21 and ultimately this kind of work impacts food manufacturers if demand for healthier options increases then food companies will continue to create new healthy options and they'll also reformulate old favorites to reduce the negative contributions to the diet like calories saturated fat added sugars and sodium at CSPI I provide support and technical assistance to states and localities that are working in this area so some of the things that I do would be to review standards and policies that the state or locality is considering also i can share lessons learned and link people together so since i'm talking to people all around the country i'm a lot of the same issues arise so i might be able to talk somebody through what another area learned about that or else connect you directly with somebody in another state or locality who's already experienced that and worked through it in addition one of the things I'm going to talk about on this webcast is working on implementation strategies so it's really important to get the policy past but then it also needs to be implemented well so I can help people make sure that these policies are implemented so that people are actually purchasing the healthier options and in addition I can help problem solve with issues that arise with the vendors or other concerns and we're also reviewing and developing materials in this area so one of the materials that we've developed through the nana coalition is model vending machine standards so these standards address both foods and beverages they limit the negative contributions to the diet like calories saturated fat trans fat sodium and added sugar and the increased positive shins to the diet so one of the things that's really great about the nana standards is that they make sure that the foods actually have some real food to them so this the standards require that the snack foods have at least a fourth of a cup of fruits vegetables lower fat-free dairy nuts or seeds or that they're a whole grain rich product or that they have at least ten percent of the daily value of a nutrient of public health concern and those include calcium potassium vitamin D and fiber and these have to be naturally occurring nutrients so they can't just be fortified products so you can't just take a junk food and add some calcium to it and have it meet the standards it needs to actually be a component of the snack food like calcium in yogurt and another thing that we've done is put together a product list so many people when they're thinking about healthy vending run acrossed complaints that they're going to end up with a vending machine full of water in broccoli or something like that so what we've done is we've put together a list of products that would meet the nana standards and would also meet many other healthy vending standards so this product list has things like waters including flavored waters and sell sirs as long as they're not calorically sweetened 100% juice and also diluted 100% juice products you could have like a cell sir mixed with 100-percent juice or low and fat-free dairy products fortified soy milks diet juice drinks diet and unsweetened teas low-calorie sports drinks diet soft drinks and coffees and when I'm talking about the diet and low-calorie beverages with the nana standards you can have up to 40 calories per container so the container could be as large as the vending machine could accommodate but you can only have 40 calories in that container and then in terms of food products there are also many things that need the nana standards so some of these you would need to have a refrigerated vending machine for but many of them are shelf-stable products so you could have fresh fruits and vegetables there are many other fruit products on the market including dried fruits both the traditional chewy dried fruit that were used to and then there are many new freeze-dried fruit options available that are crunchy on their fruit cups fruit leathers and what and other fruit snacks that are made with 100-percent fruit unsweetened applesauce a–'s and other frozen food options there are many different yogurts that meet the standards different nuts and seeds some granola bars whole-grain cookies baked chips whole-wheat crackers popcorn as well as sugar free gum so as I mentioned before it's important to get these policies past but then it's also important to make sure that these policies get implemented well so the nana standards don't just have nutrition guidelines but they also have implementation strategies to make sure that these policies are implemented successfully because we don't just want these policies to go into place we want people actually purchasing the healthy foods if they're not purchasing the healthy foods then there's a good chance that they're either bringing unhealthy foods from home or they're running out to the local 7-eleven to get something from there so we really want to make sure that healthy products are available and then people are eating the healthy products so one of the first things that you can do in working in this area when you're trying to implement a policy is offered a partner with your vendor vendors are often worried about how these types of changes are going to hurt their business or how they're going to affect their business and how they will affect sales so if you offer to partner with them you can offer to do some of these implementation techniques to make sure that it goes smoothly your vendor is going to be very knowledgeable about their business but local health departments will be more knowledgeable about health promotion and will have or access to the customer so they could do more health promotion with them and one of the places to start when you're implementing is to talk to your vendor about which products aren't selling well in the machine so if you're not doing one hundred percent healthy products then a good place to start is look at which products aren't selling well and replace those with the healthy products because the vendor is going to be really scared about taking their top-selling item out of the vending machine but if you start with things that aren't selling well then they won't be as afraid of the Healthy Vending standards another thing that you can do is look at different pricing techniques so if you are pricing the unhealthy food less expensive than the healthy food then you're not supporting the healthy choice if the Snickers bar is 75 cents in the granola bar is a dollar fifty then people are going to be more likely to buy the Snickers bar unless they really want to eat that healthy granola bar so one of the things that you can do is to make the healthy option either similar in price or better yet less expensive than the unhealthy option and in different places where this has been implemented it's been shown that having these pricing techniques increases the sale of healthy options and it also has revenue remaining stable so by balancing out the prices the vending machine doesn't lose any money and another thing that you can do is use placement techniques so if all of the healthy options are in the bottom row of the vending machine many people won't even notice that they're there so it's important to have the healthy products right at eye level or right along the side where the keypad is so that people notice that they're there and they're more likely to purchase them and other things that you can do our different promotion techniques so you could send emails to staff you could put flyers up on staff bulletin boards you could do a short presentation at the beginning of a staff meeting or put posters up in the hallways I know that I used to work in a state government building and after visiting the vending machine a couple of times and realizing there were no options there that i wanted i stopped visiting the vending machines so it's good to let people know that there are new options there for them to check out and then also let them know why they should be purchasing those healthy options and one of the things we're doing at CSPI right now is putting together some promotional posters that you could put directly on a vending machine so those will be up on our website very soon and people would be able to print those out and use those as promotional materials and another thing that is important to do is talk to your vendor about the front and side panel of the vending machine so it especially with beverage vending machines if you have a picture of an ice-cold full calorie coca-cola on the front of the machine then as people are walking up to / make a beverage purchase they're going to be thinking about the full calorie coca-cola but if you have an ice cold water or a diet beverage or some other low-calorie beverage and they're going to be more likely to think about that beverage as they're walking up to the vending machine and another thing that's really important is to provide education so to educate both leadership and employees on the benefits of having healthy options to help them understand why the changes are happening and why they should purchase the healthy options if leadership isn't on board then it's going to be very difficult to implement these policies successfully and get everybody else on board so some other things that you could do would be to hold taste test people who have implemented healthy vending machines have found that by holding taste tests they can identify which products the employees like in those different locations and then the vendor knows what to stock the vending machine with so that the products actually sell and another thing that's important is to conduct surveys so you could do an online survey a paper survey you could even have a comment box but just to get feedback from your customers to find out which products they enjoy which products they don't enjoy which products they're eating at home that could be in a healthy vending machine but they're not seeing there and then finally you could combine a bunch of these techniques in a kickoff event so you could speak for a little while at a staff meeting have some of the healthy products available for people to test and then have a survey for them to fill out about how they felt about those healthy products what they'd like to see in a healthy vending machine and really just get people informed about why they should be eating those healthy options and inspiring them to go to that new healthy vending machine so another thing that we've done at CSPI is put together a financial impact fact sheet so as I mentioned before vendors are very concerned that they're going to lose money or that they're going to put the healthy options in there and the healthy options will go bad before people can purchase them so another way that they'll lose money so we have found that people how have implemented nutrition standards oftentimes they don't see any impact on revenue or they vet some have actually seen an increase in revenue so at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego California they increased the number of healthier beverage choices available in cafeterias and vending machines they conducted an education campaign and the implemented placement strategies to make the healthier options more prominent in over four months the revenue remained stable healthier beverage purchases increased forty percent and the healthiest beverage purchases increased 64% so the healthiest beverages were things like water and in Baldwin Park California they implemented nutrition standards for one hundred percent of the foods and beverages sold in city vending machines and in the initial six months the city did experience a dip in sales but after six months revenue returns to previous levels and that's where it's remained so this is a case where they probably didn't do some of those implementation techniques of getting people to know that they were going to be making changes why they should be making the changes so people did get used to the products and start purchasing them but it just took a little while for that to happen and then in the Chicago parks district in February of 2012 they implemented 100% healthier snack options in park vending machines and the revenue has always varied considerably from month to month due to popular program starting and ending but revenue did not decrease and the park wellness manager said that vending sales overall have gone up and exceeded sales forecast and in the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services they did a three-month pilot program which demonstrated that with fifty to sixty percent healthy options in vending machines the vendor experienced a 670 dollar increase in sales compared to the same three-month period in the previous year so these examples really highlight that you should use those implementation techniques because when you do then it's going to be successful and the vendors won't see that their sales have been affected so on our website we do have a financial impact fact sheet which has these four examples and a few others that show places that have implemented nutrition standards and where it's going well so this is our healthier food choices for public places website we do have the model that nana vending machine standards up there as well as the product list the financial impact fact sheet our promotional materials will be up there soon we have many fact sheets up there both general fact sheets just on what healthier food choices for public places is then we also have fact sheets on working with blind vendors and what the Randolph Shepherd program is and we have a webinar up there we have toolkits and other materials from other organizations so there's really a lot of resources there for people who want to work in this area and then finally here is my contact information if you do have any questions about the materials covered on this webcast or about anything on the website or you just need some help either I'm getting started in this area or if you're already working on trying to have healthier foods in public places then feel free to reach out to me and you can also follow CSPI on facebook or twitter thank you for listening to part 1 of the chronic disease prevention webcast series as a reminder to access additional product disease prevention fact sheets issue briefs and publications please visit nachos chronic disease prevention webpage for technical assistance emailed in nature chronic disease team at chronic disease at nacho org

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