“We initially worked with the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit to conduct taste tests of more nutritious options such as fresh salads, fruits and ready-to-go meals,” said Deborah Robinson, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Health Promotion dietitian at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. “The information was presented to wing leadership at the Community Action Board and the decision was made to develop a more robust program and conduct a pilot.”
Modeled after the DOD’s Go for Green program, the six-month pilot program with 10 units across the base looks to improve access to healthier foods and drinks to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
“I see people bring healthier lunches, but sometimes they forget and don’t have time to leave the squadron,” said Capt. Nikki Yogi, 63rd Fighter Squadron instructor pilot upgrade student. “So they want those healthy options available.”
The G4G program uses a stop light theme based on the nutritional content of the items. Green for go foods or eat often, yellow for slow down foods or eat occasionally, and red for stop and think about it foods or eat rarely.
With support from several organizations including the commissary, the Luke Spouses’ Club, the Consortium for Health and Military Performance, and the Community Action Team, the Health Promotion Office provided two members from each participating unit with the necessary training and supplies to educate their units.
“The goal is to increase the number of green-coded options offered at the worksite to at least 30 percent by the end of the six-month pilot project,” said Robinson. “Snack bar monitors will actively promote the program by featuring three green-coded items each day and displaying GFG signage.”
The training also included a suggested planogram for snack bar layouts and tips to increase visibility and opportunity to purchase healthier options through special pricing and accessibility of green-coded items.
“Our belief is that by offering the best fuel for our bodies there will be a direct impact on human performance and the mission,” said Robinson. “As eating habits change at work, they are likely carried over to other aspects of life, such as the home environment as well.”
The program is set to launch in April and will include feedback from unit members, leadership, and snack bar monitors as well as sales data of green-coded items. Based on the results, they hope to expand the program to more units.
For more information on the G4G program, visit the Human Performance Resource Center online at https://www.hprc-online.org/