One of the country’s top food service providers has cut 8 percent of calories, sodium, and saturated fats on the menus it provides to colleges, universities, hospital cafes and workplaces.
The news from Aramark is part of the first-year report on progress for Healthy for Life 20 By 20, a five-year joint initiative launched last year with the American Heart Association that aims to improve the health of consumers across the United States by 20 percent by the year 2020. The joint project impacts the more than 2 billion meals Aramark serves annually and focuses on engaging the community through consumer and employee health awareness and education.
The 8 percent drop is about double the anticipated 3 percent to 5 percent target set for the first year. That drop also was accompanied by an increase in fruit, vegetable, and whole grain choices on menus. More than 30 percent of main dishes are now vegetarian or vegan, while more than 10 percent have whole grains as a leading ingredient.
The initiative hopes to “create a culture of health for all Americans, with a keen focus on helping families and underserved communities,” said Eric J. Foss, Aramark’s chairman, president, and chief executive officer. “We are extremely pleased with the progress our teams have made together, and are focused on continuing this innovative work and breakthrough collaboration in support of our shared goals to help people lead healthier lives.”