Online Program

Improving nutrition standards for meals away from home: The san antonio por vida! initiative

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Kathy Shields, BS, CHES, Community Health Division, City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio, TX
Kasey Pape, MS, RD, LD, Chronic Disease Prevention Section, City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio, TX
Erica T. Sosa, PhD, MCHES, Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
In response to high rates of obesity and diabetes, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) partnered with professional dietitians and local restaurants to create °Por Vida!- a healthy menu initiative for food service venues. °Por Vida! is currently implemented in restaurants, worksites, hospitals, and universities and uses a point-of-decision prompt to identify healthy menu items based on specific nutritional criteria.

Local registered dietitians developed nutrition criteria based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and partnered with local restaurants to create healthy menu items labeled with point-of-decision prompts. External program evaluation included environmental assessments conducted via two researchers visiting each restaurant; key informant interviews of restaurant and institution managers and owners; collection of sales data from managers and owners; and patron awareness surveys to collect information on if the patrons saw the logo and if the logo impacted their purchasing decision.

More patrons in the institutional setting saw the °Por Vida! logo than the restaurant setting (58.5% compared to 34.7%). Among the institution patrons, 13% reported that they ordered the °Por Vida! menu item because of the logo. Within the Institutional settings sales of the °Por Vida! items increased, and healthy salad purchases increased.

The °Por Vida! initiative represents a cooperative partnership between public health, the food service industry and other influential groups to create public/private solutions to the rising obesity and diabetes rates.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify strategies to build productive relationships between public health, registered dietitians, and the food service industry. Describe the process of engaging food service establishment support in labeling healthy food choices on menus. Describe methods and results of external evaluation and sustainability of program.

Keyword(s): Food and Nutrition, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Chronic Disease Prevention Manager with oversight of the Por Vida program. I was responsible for facilitating the partnership that developed the Por Vida program and I have been responsible for implementing the program since its inception in 2010.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.