Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 147

P06-127 - Best practices for financial sustainability of healthy food service guidelines in hospital cafeterias

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objectives: To examine barriers and facilitators to financial sustainability of healthy food service guidelines and to compile best practices for financial sustainability.


Methods: Qualitative, in-depth interviews were conducted with eight hospital food service directors to learn more about barriers and facilitators to financial sustainability of healthy food service guidelines. Analysts used the headers in the interview guide to organize themes and also made note of emerging themes not included on the original guide. They independently used the code occurrence and co-occurrence features in Dedoose to analyze patterns across the interviews, and pull illustrative quotes for analysis.


Results: Two overarching themes emerged, related to: 1) the demand for and sales of healthy foods and beverages, and 2) the production and supply of healthy foods and beverages. Best practices related to each overarching theme include "Evaluate new dishes with staff and customers to see which are well-received", "Anticipate dropping popular "comfort" foods by preparing customers in advance", "Offset higher food costs for new healthier menu items by adjusting the price point of other popular food offerings to ensure overall profitability", "Regularly emphasize and share the goals of the healthy food program with staff, emphasizing the benefits of a healthier diet," "Serve smaller portions of those foods that are more expensive to make," and "Introduce innovative training options that maximize the reach and impact of trainers."


Conclusions: Our study provides insights into how hospital food service directors can maximize revenue and remain financially viable while selling healthier options in onsite dining facilities.




Funding Source: The authors gratefully acknowledge all interview participants. This project was supported by the National Network of Public Health Institutes through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (number: #5U38OT000203-03).

CoAuthors: Stephanie Jilcott Pitts, PhD – East Carolina University; John Graham, PhD – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Amy Lowry Warnock, MPA – Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Angelo Mojica, PhD, MPH – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Erin Marziale, MPH – National Network of Public Health Institutes; Diane Harris, PhD, MPH – Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Brittany L. Schwartz

Research Associate
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Charlotte, North Carolina