Decrease Health Risks & Healthcare Costs

Communities are healthier when they are empowered to make their own food choices, including equitable access to whole, nutritious foods. Healthy diets also reduce healthcare costs, decrease the risk of chronic disease, and enhance wellbeing, creating more opportunities for communities to thrive. As food service providers, institutions can play a critical role in ensuring health equity and promoting wellbeing through culturally-appropriate meals that are rich in protective foods: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Strategies

Reduce processed meat purchases

Consuming less processed and red meat lowers risk of disease, adverse health events, and all-cause mortality.

Increase whole grain purchases

Whole grains have a protective effect on health and reduced risk of disease.

Increase fruit and vegetable purchases

Fruit and vegetable consumption is linked to prevention and management of chronic disease.

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Increased investment in healthy foods could also:

  • Reduce racial and ethnic disparities in many chronic diseases and conditions.

  • Reduce healthcare-related debt for food chain workers, of whom the majority lack employer-provided health coverage and paid sick days.

  • Decrease healthcare costs for employers, savings from which could be passed on to workers — especially when workers are empowered to bargain collectively.

Learn about more ways to advance good food policies in your community.