Food Service Guideline Policies on State Government-Controlled Properties

Am J Health Promot. 2018 Jul;32(6):1340-1352. doi: 10.1177/0890117116667117. Epub 2016 Sep 13.


Purpose: Food service guideline (FSG) policies can impact millions of daily meals sold or provided to government employees, patrons, and institutionalized persons. This study describes a classification tool to assess FSG policy attributes and uses it to rate FSG policies.

Design: Quantitative content analysis.

Setting: State government facilities in the United States.

Participants: Participants were from 50 states and District of Columbia in the United States.

Measures: Frequency of FSG policies and percentage alignment to tool.

Analysis: State-level policies were identified using legal research databases to assess bills, statutes, regulations, and executive orders proposed or adopted by December 31, 2014. Full-text reviews were conducted to determine inclusion. Included policies were analyzed to assess attributes related to nutrition, behavioral supports, and implementation guidance.

Results: A total of 31 policies met the inclusion criteria; 15 were adopted. Overall alignment ranged from 0% to 86%, and only 10 policies aligned with a majority of the FSG policy attributes. Western states had the most FSG policies proposed or adopted (11 policies). The greatest number of FSG policies were proposed or adopted (8 policies) in 2011, followed by the years 2013 and 2014.

Conclusion: The FSG policies proposed or adopted through 2014 that intended to improve the food and beverage environment on state government property vary considerably in their content. This analysis offers baseline data on the FSG landscape and information for future FSG policy assessments.

Keywords: food and beverage environment; food service guidelines; healthy eating policy; healthy food procurement; nutrition guidelines; nutrition policy.

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Healthy / standards*
  • Food Services / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Food Services / standards*
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • State Government*
  • United States