Thursday, December 8, 2011

Unhealthy Food at Childrens Hospitals

A study published in the journal Academic Pediatrics reveals that 93% of California children's hospitals offered unhealthy food to outpatients, visitors and staff in the cafeteria and snack bars.  Said another way, only 7% offered healthy food.  What did these foods consist of to be called "unhealthy"?  Try fried food, sweetened beverages, burgers and lots of sugary sweets.

The study found that 81% of the cafeterias placed high-calorie, high-sugar items like ice cream right by the cash register, a well known marketing plan to tantalize and increase selection.  Forty four percent didn't even offer low calorie salad dressing and fewer than 1/3 had no nutrition information.

Health care workers, like the rest of America, suffer from increasing obesity.  One study showed over 54% of nurses are overweight and both stress and shift work can contribute to unhealthy eating and weight gain.  If the cafeteria offers high calorie food, it is no surprise that obesity will prevail.  The study didn't mention it, but I wonder how many of these hospitals use contracted food vendors.  Sugar, fat and empty carbohydrates are, unfortunately, cheaper than fresh, nutritious food.  We have seen the results of this in cafeteria school programs across the United States.

This study should wake up hospital administrators and they should choose only vendors that care about and supply healthy food.  If you work at a hospital...check out your own cafeteria and speak up if changes need to be made.


Raymond Bouchayer said...

Welcome to the USA the founder of fast food that is full of salt , sugar and all kinds of chemicals ( additive) to addict you to what you are consuming .
I always wonder what other people around the world think of us when they see all the obesity in the United States .

mama_gretch said...

Hey, what better way to drum up business, especially for endocrinologists!

Liz said...

really really sad and really really wrong.

Costa Mesa dentist said...

Good topic and we must do something for that because children are our next generation we give them healthy food.

dentist in Costa Mesa, CA

Eclinic said...

Children's hospitals are specifically designed to take care of the whole child through a family-centered approach to medicine.

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