Gov. Inslee Makes Washington First State to Ensure Healthy Food Access
November 14, 2013 – Olympia, WA
Governor Inslee recently took an important step to support the health of Washingtonians, making Washington the first state to adopt a comprehensive approach to increasing access to fresh, healthy food on state property and facilities. Obesity in Washington state is expected to reach 55% by 2030, and is a major contributor to high health care costs.
The Governor signed Executive Order 13-06 “Improving the Health and Productivity of State Employees and Access to Healthy Foods in State Facilities.” Similar to worksite wellness approaches taken by businesses to protect their vital workforces, the state is establishing a Health and Wellness Steering Committee to set up a worksite wellness program. State agencies also will increase the availability of healthy, fresh and locally grown food and beverage choices for employees and state program participants.
The state is a major purchaser of food, buying for its tens of thousands of employees and individuals in its care. However, the nutritional quality of that food hasn’t been a major consideration in many of those purchases.
At the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition (COPC), we have been working to improve food options at the state and local levels since 2010. We couldn’t be more pleased with Governor Inslee’s leadership on this issue. Victor Colman, COPC director, remarked, “If we are going to change the course of the obesity crisis, we need to start by making healthy choices easier where we live, work, learn and play. Governor Inslee knows that should begin with the state’s own programs and facilities. State agencies should set a good example, and not undermine its other obesity prevention efforts.”