It seems like New York is in the news each week as they continue their quest for a healthy state. Recently the ban on super sized soda drinks passed and they won’t be available in a few months. Mayor Bloomberg has set his sights on hospitals in the past, with new breastfeeding policies. His new goal is possibly the harshest with a huge backlash from the public. Nanny Bloomberg wants ban hospital junk food.
It is certainly true that many patients should not be eating junk food. Obesity is a major cause of illness and disease. Called the Healthy Hospital Food Initiative, the goal is to replace unhealthy cafeteria and vending machine items. It looks to replace items such as deep fried chicken fingers with healthier options like chicken Tandoori. Over 50% of the vending machine items will have to be healthy options.
Hospitals have already started this initiative themselves. Many have added high fiber, low fat options. BJC HealthCare has perviously eliminated trans-fat foods from their menus and added a “unhealthy tax” to their junk food snacks. SSM Health Care has published their cafeteria menus online with all the nutritional information. The Healthy Hospital Food Initiative will be voluntary but nonparticipating hospitals will be heavily pressured to comply.
The effects of the initiative have already been felt. There are certain times that you just want to eat some unhealthy foods, such as when waiting for news of a loved one. One individual felt the effects at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan. Marcelle Scott was waiting for her daughter to give birth and had to bring her own snacks to the hospital. “I like my Snickers and my Mars Bars- especially if I’m nervous for somebody who’s inside.”
What do you think of this new initiative from Mayor Bloomberg?