The Worksite Food Environment: Creating Worksite Places that Support and Encourage Healthy Eating

Panel Discussion

Panel discussion about worksite places that support healthy eating featuring Stephen Onufrak

Stephen Onufrak, PhD

Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity

Joel Kimmons, PhD

Nutrition Scientist and Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity

Christina Stevens, MPH

Health and Productivity Advisor, Chevron Corporation, Global Health and Medical

Jessica Beecham, MS

Program Director, WE Fit Wellness™

AAOHN 1.08 | AAFP 1.0 | ACSM 1.0 | CDR 1.0 | NCHEC 1.0

Workplace wellness programs can decrease employee health care costs and reduce absenteeism. One component of worksite wellness programs can be ensuring that employees have access to healthy food and beverage choices in cafeterias, vending machines, and other workplace food venues. Food Service Guidelines (FSG), such as those published by the US federal government, have been developed to translate current Dietary Guidelines into specific practical nutrition recommendations for foods and beverages in cafeteria and vending machines and may also provide guidance regarding promotion of healthier foods to build consumer demand. This panel will describe what is known about the worksite food environment and how food service guidelines can be used in food service venues. Implementation mechanisms, barriers, and facilitators will also be discussed with examples from both the public and private sector. Practical issues around measurement of compliance and evaluation of effectiveness of FSG will also be examined.

Presenter Bio(s):

Stephen Onufrak, PhD, is an epidemiologist within CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. His work focuses on the role of the food environment and policy in nutrition and obesity prevention. Prior to this, he worked at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service performing obesity prevention research in the Delta Region of Mississippi. He received his PhD from Emory University in epidemiology with a focus on cardiovascular disease.

Joel Kimmons, PhD is a nutrition scientist and epidemiologist in Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He conducts dietary and chronic disease research and focuses on policy and environmental changes to improve nutrition. He led the creation of Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations. Joel received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in Nutrition with an emphasis on epidemiology, international nutrition issues, and infant feeding. He grew up on an organic farm and continues to have close ties with farmers and the land.

Christina “CJ” Stevens, MPH is a Health Educator with over 15 years of experience helping individuals and organizations improve their health and wellbeing.  From 2000 to 2011, CJ supported US and International Astronauts and NASA pilots as the Wellness Coordinator in NASA’s Flight Medicine Clinic at Johnson Space Center.  She also coordinated the Clinical Services element of JSC’s Exploration Wellness Program, a comprehensive employee health program for JSC employees. Currently, CJ is a Senior Health & Productivity Advisor for Chevron Corporation.   In this role she works with business leadership to link health resources and services to supporting the health of the workforce.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology and a Masters of Public Health, both from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Jessica Beecham, MS, is program director at WE Fit Wellness™ where she directs a program designed to bring health and nutrition solutions. She received her BS in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation and her MS in Exercise Science. She began working as a recreational therapist for children who are medically fragile and also worked as a recreational therapist for adolescents and adults with drug and alcohol dependency. In 2012, Jessica began working as Chapter and Community Development Coordinator for the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado. She also implemented wellness programming as a mechanism for attracting new members.
WE Fit Wellness™. 1837 S. Nevada Ave. PMB 243 Colorado Springs, CO 80905; 866-543-6808;