New York's healthy hospital revolution
Following on from news that New York’s health officials had agreed to pass a regulation effectively outlawing super-size sugary drinks, the city’s powerbrokers are now looking to focus on removing “junk food” from hospitals in the city.
Under plans outlined by its mayor, Michael Bloomberg, all hospitals under the jurisdiction of the city’s limits will no longer be able sell fatty or sugary food in vending machines or in cafes based inside.
This isn’t necessarily a new political direction – though it is clear that under its current mayor, health is a big agenda item – as in recent years, 15 of New York’s public hospitals have been hard at work at improving the quality of food they deliver to patients and visitors.
By cutting the amount of calories in meals that are delivered to people accessing services, whether short-term or long-term, and reducing the amount of snacks and sodas available for consumption in general, New York’s hospitals have quietly been boosting their health credentials.
Now however, officials want to go one step forward and bring in a complete ban of all foodstuffs that are considered unessential in both public and private hospitals, especially when it comes to promoting speedy recovery in patients.
“If there’s any place that should not allow smoking or try to make you eat healthy, you would think it’d be the hospitals,” Mr Bloomberg explained. “We’re doing what we should do and you’ll see, I think, most of the private hospitals go along with it.”
Some of the suggestions proposed include, very specifically, having at least 50 per cent of all sandwiches served with whole grains.
Additionally, half-sized sandwiches must also be available, again, as a way of encouraging people to consume fewer calories.
There is a strong argument that most hospitals at present lack sufficient healthy alternatives, which is surprising given what hospitals are meant to do.
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