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162nd Dining Facilty Goes for Green

The Go for Green guide cards help service members make intelligent food selections when grabbing a meal at the 162nd Wing Dining Facility. Known as “G4G”, the program aims to improve the eating habits of Airmen not only at Unit Training Assembly weekends, but as part of a fully optimized healthy lifestyle. The easy-to-read color guide helps Airmen make quick, healthy decisions about their meals. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira)

The Go for Green guide cards help service members make intelligent food selections when grabbing a meal at the 162nd Wing Dining Facility. Known as “G4G”, the program aims to improve the eating habits of Airmen not only at Unit Training Assembly weekends, but as part of a fully optimized healthy lifestyle. The easy-to-read color guide helps Airmen make quick, healthy decisions about their meals. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The 162nd Services Flight at the wing's dining facility here rolled out a new initiative known as the "Go for Green" program over the Unit Training Assembly weekend. The purpose of the program is to help Airmen distinguish healthy food choices from less healthy choices.

Also known as the "G4G," the initiative was created by the Department of Defense force health protection and readiness program, which promotes healthy food and beverage choices in order to optimize the performance, readiness and health of service members.

Highly visible color coordinated markers enable Airmen to make educated food choices. Each color represents a level of health benefit or lack thereof.

The color categories consist of green, yellow and red. Green food choices are the more desirable because they provide the most nutrition. Yellow is a moderate selection while red is the least beneficial. 

Foods like baked chicken and vegetables are found in the main food line at the dining facility and are often wiser food choices, according to the green color markers.

"The majority of the foods found in the main line are compliant with the G4G program because these are foods that can be eaten more often and will more than likely have a higher nutritional benefit to the service member," said Wan.

"The red category foods are typically higher in fat and sodium. These are the foods we want to rarely eat and to consume smaller portion sizes," said Staff Sgt. Chor-Yee Wan, 162nd Wing service specialist.

Analyzing healthy food choices may not always be a time friendly endeavor. With busy work schedules during UTA weekends, Airmen have to make quick decisions on what to eat. Markers located at the point of food selection enable members to make informed decisions on what foods are best to consume.

Master Sgt. Santos Flores, 162nd Wing services specialist, said, "This new program allows members to make quick judgement calls as well as keeping people aware of their dietary selections."

The dining facility team has gone through the process of counting calories and placing foods into designated color categories, so the service member doesn't have to.

"A healthy diet can lead to maintaining a healthier weight, better mental performance and better physical training test scores. Eat better and perform better; we do not want people to have failing PT test scores," said Wan.

"We want to maintain high quality Guard Airmen. It is the hope that this program combats eating habits that lead to being overweight. We also want G4G to have a ripple effect from service member to service member passing on the positive eating habits to one another. An optimized lifestyle starts with healthy eating habits," said Wan.

For more information on the Go for Green program please visit the Human Performance Resource Center.