PHILADELPHIA and DALLAS, Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Empowering Americans to make better food choices is the goal of a breakthrough initiative between the American Heart Association, the nation's largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, and Aramark, the largest U.S.-based food service provider. Together, they will work to improve Americans' diets and health by 20 percent by 2020.
Healthy for Life® 20 by 20, a five year initiative, introduces industry leading menu commitments by reducing calories, saturated fat and sodium levels 20 percent, and increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains 20 percent. Changes will impact more than 2 billion meals that Aramark serves annually at thousands of schools and universities, businesses, hospitals, sports and entertainment venues, parks and other destinations, with an expected impact of 10 billion meals by 2020.
Seventy-two percent of American adults have a poor diet and nearly 70 percent of American adults are overweight or obese, according to the American Heart Association. The relationship builds on existing work by both organizations and underscores the American Heart Association's focus on its healthy living and prevention goals for 2020.
"We are making progress in public health as a nation, but we still have a long way to go," said American Heart Association CEO, Nancy Brown. "Experts have estimated that if the American public increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables to meet current public health recommendations, 127,000 lives could be saved each year. It's essential that we make healthier options more easily available to consumers and empower them to choose these options for themselves and their families. We believe that our work with Aramark will help to build a culture of health at the individual, community and national levels."
"Our mission at Aramark is to 'Enrich and Nourish Lives' and we can use our scale and culinary expertise to help people lead healthier lives," said Eric J. Foss, Aramark Chairman, President and CEO. "Healthy for Life 20 by 20 is a unique opportunity to pursue a shared vision with the American Heart Association and work in a meaningful way with our clients and through the communities we serve to improve the wellbeing of Americans."
In addition to the healthy menu commitment across Aramark's businesses, the initiative includes community health engagement programs, consumer health awareness and education, as well as thought leadership research and health impact reporting. Community programs will focus on key underserved communities across the U.S., beginning in Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia. Consumer education and awareness programs will include heart-healthy, simple cooking demonstrations and sampling, wellness workshops, and access to digital health and nutrition information.
The initiative is supported by a multi-million dollar grant from the Aramark Charitable Fund.
For more information, visit: www.aramark.com/healthyforlife.
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) delivers experiences that enrich and nourish people's lives through innovative services in food, facilities management, and uniforms. United by a passion to serve, our more than 270,000 employees make a meaningful difference each day for millions of people in 21 countries around the world. Aramark is recognized among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke — America's leading killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.heart.org.
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