Healthy for Life 20 by 20: Aramark & American Heart Association
Healthy for Life 20 By 20 is Aramark and the American Heart Association’s commitment to improve the health of Americans 20% by 2020 by empowering people to make healthy food, nutrition and lifestyle choices. It leverages the science and research knowledge of the American Heart Association and the culinary expertise, reach and scale of Aramark to accomplish its shared goals to improve the health of Americans. As the country’s largest food service provider that prepares and serves more than 2 billion meals a year Aramark and the American Heart Association, the nation’s largest volunteer organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, seek to empower consumers, employees and communities to make better food and nutrition choices.
With a multi-pronged approach, the partnership has successfully delivered these results:
Menu Impact & Innovation
Since the start of the initiative, across menus served in workplaces, hospital cafes, and college and university residential dining halls. Aramark chefs have achieved a 13 percent combined average reduction in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Vegetarian or vegan options now comprise 30 percent of the menu and chefs are continuing to explore further plant-forward innovation. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains across menus have increased by 5 percent in the first year of tracking this metric.
Consumer Awareness and Engagement
A new health engagement campaign, Feed Your Potential 365, was launched in over 1,000 food service locations and through digital and social media. Aramark chefs and dietitians, and experts at the American Heart Association share their insights, ideas and experiences with consumers to help them discover how healthy choices can power their day (and their lives). The health engagement campaign comes to life from the moment a guest enters the café or residential dining hall and engages them throughout their entire dining experience—reaching consumers through on-site signage, health promotions, menu features and sampling programs, as well as nutrition education and healthy lifestyle awareness materials.
This consumer health engagement campaign is also activated through digital and social media with a dedicated web site accompanied by blogs, e-mail communications and Instagram posts from Aramark chefs and dietitians, and featuring experts from the American Heart Association.
Employee Health and Wellbeing
With the support of the American Heart Association, Aramark has expanded its already robust employee health programs. A third of Aramark’s employees participated in screenings and health challenges coordinated with Healthy for Life 20 By 20 programs over the past year. Health challenges are geared toward motivating employees through wellbeing promotion and education. They utilize incentives such as flexible spending account dollars and rewards—including water bottles and cookbooks from the AHA. As a result, the average cardiac risk ratio of Aramark’s employee population has decreased by 8% over the past two years.
To date, more than a dozen Healthy for Life® educational experiences have been developed as part of an extensive new community based health engagement curriculum. These interactive, hands-on educational programs are led by community center staff and frequently supported by volunteers from both Aramark and the American Heart Association.
The curriculum’s wide variety of educational programs provides a breadth of opportunities to engage and educate community members over an extended period of time. Programs include healthy food tastings, cooking experiences, grocery store and other field trips, community meals, nutrition and wellbeing experiences and other activities.
Participants in the program reported a 28% average increase in fruit and vegetable consumption as well as significant increases in the frequency of choosing whole grains. Participants also reported improved confidence in their ability to prepare healthy foods at home.