Federal Food Service Guidelines in the Workplace

Headshots of Thomas Gaziano and Shafika Abrahams-Gessel with Decorative Squares

A recent study by CHDS Research Scientist Shafika Abrahams-Gessel and faculty Thomas A. Gaziano showed that federal food service guidelines improve health outcomes and are cost-saving. Despite the established link between poor diet and increased cardiometabolic risk, there is little evidence to support the impact of implementing guidelines that encourage healthier options in the workplace. The CHDS researchers evaluated recently-introduced US Government federal food service guidelines (FFSG) by using a validated microsimulation model to estimate health outcomes and cost effectiveness in nationally representative model populations of government and private company employees.

FFSG aim to provide US government employees with healthier food options. Changes in six FFSG dietary targets (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, processed meat, sodium, and sugar-sweetened beverages) were included in the intervention analyzed and the team modeled resulting changes in cardiometabolic health outcomes and related mortality. CVD PREDICT, a validated microsimulation model which uses individual-level CVD risk factors to calculate CVD risk transition probabilities in a representative U.S. population, was used to predict health outcomes, associated costs, and cost effectiveness of the intervention.

Study results showed lifetime reductions of heart attacks (− 107/million), strokes (− 30/ million), diabetes (− 134/million), ischemic heart disease deaths (− 56/million), and stroke deaths (− 8/million), and found that FFSG implementation is cost saving overall, with total savings in discounted healthcare costs from $4,611,026 (5 years) to $539,809,707 (lifetime) $U.S.

Learn more: Read the full publication, Implementing Federal Food Service Guidelines in Federal and Private Worksite Cafeterias in the United States Leads to Improved Health Outcomes and Is Cost Saving
Learn more: Explore the CHDS Resource, Cost-Effectiveness of Financial Incentives and Disincentives for Improving Food Purchases and Health Through SNAP

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