Healthy Choices in Hospital Cafeterias? You Must Be Joking! - Page 3
Considering that of the 16 venues surveyed, only 7% of 384 sandwiches or entrees analyzed were healthy, according to the criteria of the survey, the perspective of such hospital facilities is not forward thinking toward health, but convenience oriented. According to hospital administrators, part of the problem, is a simple matter of economics since food service companies are competitive businesses which contract with their clients, the hospitals.
The disconnect is apparent; hospitals, clearly, do not integrate food nutrition as part of their treatment of illness. Providing food to their patients and their visitors, as well as staff is something at the bottom of their list of concerns; though a vital necessity it would appear to be a cumbersome chore more easily taken care of by outsourcing. This was born out in the study's findings: half (50%) of the venues were found to have no entrees that were considered healthy. Clearly, hospitals do not connect nutrition and health in their food plans, an incredible irony they can ill afford to maintain in a cultural awareness explosion of nutrition's impact of health.
Lesser, obviously invested in this impact, posited that hospitals should develop a set of universal standards for cafeterias that include healthier food selections, and equitable marketing, i.e. not alluring customers with treats at check-outs.
Lesser has expressed his concern that, "Children's hospitals should really be a model for healthy eating, and should be trying to get people to eat as healthy as possible."
All things considered, hospitals' bureaucracies are downright Byzantine. Making changes, even if it's just a matter of taking out the packaged cookies from the check-out counters can take months or even years of discussion, so any attempt at adding healthy options to cafeteria selections is a breakthrough. But the push for healthy choices in patient food offerings and cafeteria menus must continue since more research is providing overwhelming evidence of the relationship between good nutrition and wellness. Hospitals, above all, should be in the forefront, not lagging behind 7-Eleven