This is a legacy version of the WELL Building Standard. Please check the latest version here.

Processed foods

Foods that contain highly processed ingredients tend to be high in sugar, calories and added fats, and have low nutritional value. More than half of the U.S. population consumes sugar-sweetened beverages on a given day, and the average consumption of added sugars is more than 22 teaspoons per day, even though the recommended limit is 6-9 teaspoons. High consumption of added sugars is associated with weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension and other negative health effects.

This feature prohibits or limits the main components of highly processed and industrialized foods (refined sugars, flours and oils) to encourage the consumption of healthy cuisines.

Part 1: Refined Ingredient Restrictions

All foods, beverages, snacks and meals sold or distributed on a daily basis on the premises by (or under contract with) the project owner meet the following conditions:

a.78 No beverage with more than 30 g of sugar per container is sold or distributed through catering services, vending machines or pantries. Bulk containers of 1.9 L (2 quart) or larger are exempt from this requirement.
b.78 In beverage vending machines and on food service menus, at least 50% of slots or listings are products that have 15 g of sugar or less per 240 mL [8 oz] serving.
c.78 No individually sold, single-serving, non-beverage food item contains more than 30 g of sugar.
d.55 In any foods where a grain flour is the primary ingredient by weight, a whole grain must be the primary ingredient.
Part 2: Trans Fat Ban

All foods, beverages, snacks and meals sold or distributed on a daily basis on the premises by (or under contract with) the project owner do not contain:

a.56 Partially-hydrogenated oil.
Part 3: Fryer Oil

Oil in deep fryers is discarded before the following condition is met:

a.107 The level of Total Polar Materials is greater than 24%, during operation.
Part 4: Beverages for Elementary and Middle School

Beverages available to elementary and middle school students only include the following:

a.143 Water (plain or carbonated, without any flavoring or additives).
b.143 Milk (and milk alternatives) with no more than 22 g of sugar per container, up to 240 mL [8 oz] portions for elementary and up to 360 mL [12 oz] portions for middle school students.
c.143 100% fruit and vegetable juice, up to 120 mL [4 oz] portions.
Part 5: Beverages for High School and Adult Education

Beverages sold or distributed to high school students and adults are limited to the following:

a.143 Water (plain or carbonated, without any flavoring or additives).
b.143 Milk (and milk alternatives) with no more than 22 g of sugar per container, up to 360 mL [12 oz] portions.
c.143 100% fruit and vegetable juice, up to 240 mL [8 oz] portions.
d.146 Beverages that have no more than 1 g of sugar per 30 mL [1 oz], without non-caloric (non-nutritive or artificial) sweeteners.
Part 6: Ingredients Restrictions for Schools

All foods sold or distributed in the facility meet the following criteria:

a.143 Except for fruits and vegetables, all foods contain 35% or less of calories from sugar.
b.77 At least 90% of all food and snack items offered do not contain any ingredients that are deep-fried.
c.55 In any foods that contain a grain flour, whole grain is the primary ingredient by weight.
d.144 Desserts contain 200 calories or less and 2 or more grams of dietary fiber.
e.143 No individually sold, single-serving, non-beverage food item contains more than 30 g of sugar.
f.143 Foods are free of nonnutritive sweeteners.
g.144 If competitive foods are sold, they meet the USDA's Smart Snacks in Schools Guidelines.
Digestive
Endocrine
Cardiovascular
Urinary
Reproductive

Applicability Matrix

Core & Shell New & Existing Buildings New & Existing Interiors
Part 1: Refined Ingredient Restrictions P P P
Part 2: Trans Fat Ban P P P
Part 3: Fryer Oil - - -
Part 4: Beverages for Elementary and Middle School - - -
Part 5: Beverages for High School and Adult Education - - -
Part 6: Ingredients Restrictions for Schools - - -
Commercial Kitchen Education Multifamily Residential Restaurant Retail
Part 1: Refined Ingredient Restrictions - - O P P
Part 2: Trans Fat Ban - P O P P
Part 3: Fryer Oil P - - - -
Part 4: Beverages for Elementary and Middle School - P - - -
Part 5: Beverages for High School and Adult Education - P - - -
Part 6: Ingredients Restrictions for Schools - P - - -

Verification Methods Matrix

Letters of Assurance Annotated Documents On-Site Checks
Part 1: Refined Ingredient Restrictions Operations Schedule Spot Check
Part 2: Trans Fat Ban Operations Schedule Spot Check
Part 3: Fryer Oil Policy Document Performance Test
Part 4: Beverages for Elementary and Middle School Architect Operations Schedule Spot Check
Part 5: Beverages for High School and Adult Education Architect Operations Schedule Spot Check
Part 6: Ingredients Restrictions for Schools Architect Operations Schedule Spot Check
55

American Heart Association. Whole Grains and Fiber. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Whole-Grains-and-Fiber_UCM_303249_Article.jsp. Published 2014. Accessed September 15, 2014.

39.1.d

The AHA's Whole Grains and Fiber fact sheet identifies whole grains as good source of fiber and nutrients.

39.6.c

The American Heart Association notes that "eating whole grains provides important health benefits".

56

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trans Fat: The Facts. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/trans_fat_final.pdf. Published 2010. Accessed September 15, 2014.

39.2.a

The CDC Trans Fat: The Facts identifies partially hydrogenated oils as a source of trans fats that should be avoided.

77

U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, December 2010. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

39.6.b

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides suggestions for consumers relating to caloric intake, including potential strategies such as avoiding foods with the word "fried" when eating out.

78

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guide to Strategies for Reducing the Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. http://www.cdph.ca.gov/SiteCollectionDocuments/StratstoReduce_Sugar_Sweetened_Bevs.pdf Published 2010. Accessed September 15, 2014.

39.1.a

The CDC's Guide to Strategies for Reducing the Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages identifies that limited access to sugar sweetened beverages can decrease their consumption and increase consumption of healthier beverages.

39.1.b

The CDC's Guide to Strategies for Reducing the Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages identifies that limited access to sugar sweetened beverages can decrease their consumption and increase consumption of healthier beverages.

39.1.c

The CDC's Guide to Strategies for Reducing the Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages identifies that limited access to sugar sweetened beverages can decrease their consumption and increase consumption of healthier beverages.

107

British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. Guidelines on Deep Fryers and Frying Oil. http://www.bccdc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/540608BF-FBAB-4886-95FE-32BA1B465DFE/0/GuidelinesonDeepFryersandFryingOilJan13.pdf. Updated 2013. Accessed October 28, 2014.

39.3.a

The BC Centre for Disease Control presents guidelines that state that frying oil should be changed when the level of Total Polar Materials (Polar Content) is greater than 24%.

143

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools: Leading the Way Toward Healthier Youth. Fact Sheet. https://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2007/Nutrition-Standards-for-Foods-in-Schools-Leading-the-Way-toward-He.... Released April 23, 2007. Accessed March 25, 2015.

39.4.a

The IOM's Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools classifies "water without flavoring, additives, or carbonation" as a tier 1 beverage for all students.

39.4.b

The IOM's Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools includes low-fat, nonfat, lactose-free and soy milk in 8 ounce portions under their classifications for tier 1 beverages. It also includes flavored milk with up to 22 grams of sugar per 8 ounce portion.

39.4.c

The IOM's Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools classify 100% fruit juice in 4 ounce portions as a tier 1 beverage for elementary and middle school students.

39.5.c

The IOM's Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools recommends beverages with no more than 35% of calories from sugar but allows some exceptions, including 100% fruit or vegetable juices without added sugars.

39.5.a

The IOM's Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools classifies unflavored water, non-carbonated water, and water without additives as a tier 1 beverage for all students.

39.5.b

The IOM's Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools classifies low-fat, nonfat, lactose-free and soy milk as tier 1 beverages for all students. It also includes flavored milk with up to 22 grams of sugar per 8 ounce portion for all students.

39.6.a

The IOM's Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools recommends that "snacks, foods, and beverages provide no more than 35% of calories from total sugars per portion as packaged", except for 100% fruits and vegetables.

39.6.e

The IOM's Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools generally do not recommend foods with more than 35% of calories from sugar per portion, but as an exception allow nonfat and low-fat yogurts with up to 30 grams of sugar.

39.6.f

The IOM's Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools states that beverages with "nonnutritive sweeteners are only allowed in high school after the end of the school day."

144

United States Department of Agriculture. Smart Snacks in School: USDA’s “All Foods Sold in Schools” Standards. http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/allfoods_flyer.pdf. Accessed March 25, 2015.

39.6.d

The USDA's Smart Snacks in School sets calorie limits for snack items at less than or equal to 200 calories.

39.6.g

The USDA's Smart Snacks for Schools provides nutrition standards which are required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

146

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Healthy Drinks: Public Health Concerns. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/beverages-public-health-concerns. Accessed March 25, 2015.

39.5.d

The Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Nutrition Source notes that a threshold of 1 gram of sugar per ounce would be a better threshold for what can be marketed as a "reduced sugar" beverage than what is currently allowed by labeling regulations.