Health Behaviors Tobacco Use Diet & Exercise Alcohol & Drug Use Sexual Activity Search Policies & Programs

Display All Policies & Programs

Healthy foods at catered events

Health Factors: Diet & Exercise
Decision Makers: Community Members Employers & Businesses Local Government State Government Nonprofit Leaders Public Health Professionals & Advocates
Evidence Rating: Expert Opinion
Population Reach: 20-49% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

Is this program or policy in use in your community? Tell us about it.


Offering more fresh fruits and vegetables, smaller portions, low fat, and reduced sodium or reduced sugar food options are some ways to offer healthy foods at catered events.  

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Improved dietary choices
Improved nutrition
Increased access to fruits & vegetables
Increased fruit & vegetable consumption

Evidence of Effectiveness

Offering healthy foods at meetings, conferences, and catered events is a suggested strategy to improve dietary choices and nutrition (WIPAN-Worksites). Ensuring access to fresh fruits and vegetables at workplace meetings and events is also a suggested strategy to increase fruit and vegetable consumption (CDC-Fruits and vegetables 2011). Available research suggests that increasing healthy options at meetings and catered events influences healthy diets, especially in combination with other interventions (Larson 2009, Backman 2004, Glanz 2004). Additional evidence, including studies focused solely on offering healthy food at workplace events, is needed to confirm effects. 

Market research shows a promising demand for healthy catered options at workplaces (Geissler 2010). 


United States

Businesses, employers, and government offices around the country are serving more healthy foods at their catered events and meetings. Many universities have also developed guidelines for offering healthy foods at meetings, seminars, and catered events, including the University of Minnesota (UMN-Story 2008), University of South Carolina (SC-Healthy meetings), and University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley-Healthy meetings).

Implementation Resources

CDC-Healthy worksites - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Healthier worksite initiative: Toolkits. Accessed on December 1, 2015
Vidant Health 2012 - Vidant Health. Event planner tool kit: Guidelines for providing healthy foods and beverages at company-sponsored events. Coral Spring: Vidant Health; 2012. Accessed on November 9, 2015
WI DHS-Worksite Wellness - Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Worksite wellness resource kit. Accessed on May 24, 2016

Citations - Evidence

Backman 2004 - Backman DR, Carman JS, Aldana SG. Fruits and vegetables and physical activity at the worksite: Business leaders and working women speak out on access and environment. Sacramento: California Department of Health Services (DHS), Public Health Institute; 2004. Accessed on December 1, 2015
CDC-Fruits and vegetables 2011 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Strategies to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases: The CDC guide to strategies to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS); 2011. Accessed on March 1, 2017
Geissler 2010 - Geissler GL. Healthy food at work? An examination of a proposed catering service concept. Journal of Food Products Marketing. 2010;16(4):350-60. Accessed on February 5, 2016
Glanz 2004* - Glanz K, Yaroch AL. Strategies for increasing fruit and vegetable intake in grocery stores and communities: Policy, pricing, and environmental change. Preventive Medicine. 2004;39(Suppl 2):S75-80. Accessed on February 4, 2016
Larson 2009 - Larson N, Story M. A review of environmental influences on food choices. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 2009;38(1 Suppl):S56-73. Accessed on March 1, 2016
WIPAN-Worksites - Wisconsin Nutrition and Physical Activity (WIPAN). What works in worksites. Accessed on January 12, 2016

Citations - Implementation

SC-Healthy meetings - University of South Carolina (USC). Healthy Carolina’s healthy meetings guide: A tool for planning healthy meetings and events. Columbia: Healthy Carolina (HC), University of South Carolina (USC); 2009. Accessed on March 15, 2016
UC Berkeley-Healthy meetings - University Health Services Tang Center. Healthy meetings & events. University of California, Berkeley. Accessed on November 23, 2015
UMN-Story 2008 - Story M. Guidelines for offering healthy foods at meetings, seminars and catered events. Minneapolis: School of Public Health, University of Minnesota; 2013. Accessed on March 15, 2016

Page Last Updated

January 19, 2014

* Journal subscription may be required for access.