Eastern Health Announces Launch of Healthy Food Policy  

June 21, 2022 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health is pleased to announce the official launch of its Healthy Food Policy for Retail. The policy focuses on offering food and beverages consistent with Canada’s Food Guide and applies to all cafeterias, canteens, vending machines and gift shops/auxiliaries in Eastern Health facilities. The policy will be implemented across the region over the next three years. 

As a health-care organization, we have a lead role to play in promoting initiatives that will have positive impacts on the health and well-being of the population,” said Judy O’Keefe, Vice President of Clinical Services with Eastern Health. “Focusing on the health of the whole population is important to help keep people healthy and well long before they need treatment for illness. The Healthy Food Policy for Retail supports the healthy eating and nutrition education that is provided by our skilled and dedicated health-care professionals. We want to lead by example to support and promote healthy food and beverage choices in our facilities, consistent with Canada’s Food Guide. We also look forward to working with our service providers to implement this policy.”  

The development of this policy is based on the latest evidence and research. It was led by a regional committee with representation from various disciplines and program areas across the organization, and aligns closely with the health authority’s priority areas of Population Health and Healthy Workplace, included in the organization’s Strategic Plan for 2020-23, Putting Excellence into Action. 

Lesley Burgess, regional nutritionist, Population and Public Health Department, assisted in the development of the policy: “Canada’s Food Guide recommends enjoying a variety of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, protein foods and satisfying your thirst with water. It also promotes a pattern of eating that meets nutrient needs, promotes health, reduces the risk of chronic disease and supports improvements to the food environment. This new policy will help to create a supportive environment for healthy eating in our health-care facilities by phasing out deep fried foods, sweetened beverages, chips, chocolate and candy. This will help make the healthy choice the easy choice.”   

This policy applies to food and beverages available to the public and staff in Eastern Health facilities. It does not apply to food and beverages provided to patients in hospitals and residents in long-term care facilities, as there are existing nutrition policies and processes in place for this purpose.    

The policy was officially signed during Nutrition Month. Additional information will be provided as the organization works through the implementation phases via Eastern Health’s website: https://www.easternhealth.ca/about-us/policies/healthy-food-policy-for-retail/.  


About Eastern Health   

Eastern Health is the largest, integrated health authority in Newfoundland and Labrador employing approximately 13,000 dedicated employees, over 700 medical staff, and is supported by approximately 2,000 volunteers, including members of numerous auxiliaries and fundraising foundations. With an annual budget of approximately $1.6 billion, the authority offers the full continuum of health and community services including public health, long-term care, community services, hospital care and unique provincial programs and services. Serving a population of over 300,000, Eastern Health’s geographic boundaries extend west from St. John’s to Port Blandford including all communities on the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas. 

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Last updated: 2022-06-21