DoD Mapping Out Nutrition Awareness Campaign
The familiar traffic stoplight colorlabeling system currently guiding service members throughout the military toward dietary choices for better health and fitness may soon become a symbol in a larger anti-obesity and nutrition awareness campaign.
“We are very excited about this initiative and are working hard to make this revolutionary effort a reality,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy (MCFP) Charles Milam, SES. “We are currently collaborating with the many people and agencies that are key to this important effort. With that said, there is still a lot of work to be done and much that has to be mapped out.”
Each of the armed services is working with the Office of MCFP to encourage service members, retired beneficiaries and dependents to make better nutritional choices. The campaign includes improving nutrition standards across the services, which were last revised 20 years ago, and raising the availability in dining facilities of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and entrée choices that are lower in fat.
In addition, the campaign aims to assess the nutritional environment of military facilities and ensure healthier foods are available in dining facilities, as well as in DoD schools and other places where service members and their families purchase food on base, such as vending machines and snack bars. ...
Airmen Respond to Nutrition Guidelines
By now, the green, yellow and red traffic stoplight found in military dining facilities is a familiar and useful symbol guiding service members to distinguish between foods to select often, occasionally and rarely.
Signs are that the emphasis on nutrition is having the desired influence on the choices service members make and the items available in dining facilities at meal times.
“Since implementation of the G4G [Go for Green] program, we noticed an increase in consumption of healthier entrées, such as fruits, yogurt and whole-grain cereals,” said Bill Spencer, chief, appropriated-fund operations, Air Force Food and Beverage Section, Division of Operations, Air Force Personnel Center.
During breakfast, for example, 78 percent of entrées fall into the green or yellow categories, and airmen are paying attention. The Air Force uses the Go for Green color-coding system to educate airmen during all meals. ...
Beverages and Desserts for Rations Get Warfighter Approval
Similar to the meals available in dining facilities, the items available on the rations menu are based on service member requests, testing and approval, along with additional requirements such as shelf life, nutrition and packaging.
Warfighters rely on group rations in the early stages of deployment until field kitchens are set up.
Beverages and desserts are two key components of unitized group rations (UGR) developed at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center at the Natick Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass. These change annually based on the approval of warfighters as determined through field evaluation results, as well as the Joint Services Operational Rations Forum held annually. ...