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Majority Of California Children’s Hospitals Found To Offer Unhealthy Meals

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.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*


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