National District Health Boards Healthy Food and Beverage Environments Policy


DHBs are responsible for promoting health for the populations they serve. This includes leading by example within their environments to make healthy food and beverage choices easy choices for staff and visitors in DHB settings. 

Food and beverages on offer for staff and visitors need to align with the Ministry of Health’s Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults. Specifically, DHBs have agreed together, in December 2015, that the foods and beverages available in DHB settings will reflect the following:

  1. A variety of foods from the four food groups including: 
    • plenty of vegetables and fruit 
    • grain foods, mostly wholegrain and those naturally high in fibre 
    • some milk and milk products, mostly low and reduced fat 
    • some legumes, nuts, seeds, fish and other seafood, eggs, poultry (e.g., chicken) and/or red meat with the fat removed. 
  2. Mostly prepared with or contain minimal saturated fat, salt (sodium) and added sugar, and that is mostly whole and less processed. 
    • Some foods containing moderate amounts of saturated fat, salt and added sugar may be sold but only in small portions (e.g. some baked or frozen goods). 
    • Confectionary (e.g., sweets and chocolate) and fried foods would need to be limited to meet this requirement. 
  3. The cold beverages available across all DHB settings will predominantly be plain water and unflavoured milk
    • Availability and portion sizes of artificially sweetened beverages and no added sugar juices would need to be limited to meet this requirement.
    • No sugar-sweetened beverages will be sold.

The Ministry of Health is working alongside DHBs and other key stakeholders to develop more detailed national food and beverage environment guidelines for DHBs. These guidelines will highlight best practice food and beverage environments and will reflect the above principles. 

CM Health has a Healthy Food and Beverage Environments Policy, adopted in August 2014 and available here [PDF, 239 KB],  which aligns with the agreed principles above. This policy will be further refined as the national DHB collective progresses this work in 2016. 

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