Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 509: Establishing nutrition standards for food purchased and served by state agencies

Date: 01/07/2009
Issuer: Deval L. Patrick
Mass Register: No. 1122

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, during the period 1990 to 2007, the prevalence of overweight or obese adults in Massachusetts increased by more than 47%, and the prevalence of overweight or obese high school students increased by 7%;

WHEREAS, persons found to be overweight or obese face a higher risk of morbidity and mortality, including the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gall bladder disease, and musculoskeletal disorders;

WHEREAS, residents of the commonwealth can improve their health and their quality of life and prevent chronic disease by increasing their consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and decreasing their consumption of processed foods, refined carbohydrates, saturated and trans fats and sodium;

WHEREAS, state government can promote healthier eating habits and serve as a model for businesses, institutions and residents by requiring that all state contracts for the purchase of food or the provision of food services adhere to defined nutrition standards; and,

WHEREAS, the commonwealth's adherence to nutrition standards will encourage food suppliers and service providers to incorporate such standards into their products and operations generally.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § 1, Art. 1, do hereby order as follows:

Section 1. This Executive Order shall apply to all state agencies in the Executive Department. As used in this Order, "state agencies" (or "agencies") shall include all executive offices, boards, commissions, agencies, departments, divisions, councils, bureaus, and offices, now existing and hereafter established.

Section 2. Each state agency shall ensure that it purchases and provides food that meets defined nutrition standards. Towards that end, beginning with all contracts procured after July 1, 2009, state agencies that purchase or serve food shall comply with nutrition guidelines established by the Department of Public Health. These guidelines shall govern the purchase and serving of food by state agencies, and shall ensure that persons served by such agencies are offered a broad choice of healthy, balanced meals and snacks. The Department may phase in the guidelines to accommodate existing contracts and to provide for gradual modification of prevailing food preferences.

Section 3. This Executive Order shall continue in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 7th day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand and nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty-three.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Secretary of the Commonwealth

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