About the Issue

It’s time to face the facts: there’s a growing majority of people living in America who are craving healthier food options when they are visiting public places, including buildings and locations managed or owned by states and communities, such as city libraries, state parks, and county health departments.

In some states and communities, policies are being discussed that would ensure that healthier food and beverage options are offered in public buildings and locations through their vending machines, cafeterias, concession stands, and snack or coffee shops, as well as in a feeding programs run by those entities, such as juvenile justice facilities or senior centers

Supporters of these efforts say healthier options should be available to the millions of people who visit and work in these buildings and locations in order to improve public health and help reduce diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Healthier food and beverage options are defined as meeting research-based nutrition criteria. Some examples of healthier options are granola bars, fresh fruit, nuts, grilled chicken sandwiches, sparkling water, and juices with no added sugar. Ensuring that visitors and employees have access to healthier choices in these locations means that we can work together to make stronger connections between the importance of nutrition and the environments we live in.