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Food served in children's hospitals rated largely unhealthy
Date:11/30/2011

ice cream near the cash register
  • 25 percent sold whole wheat bread
  • Half the hospitals did not provide any indication that they carried healthy entrees
  • 44 percent did not have low calorie salad dressings

    Since no one has previously documented the health of food in these hospitals, researchers provided hospital administrators with their scores to encourage improvement. Since the study was conducted in July 2010, some of the hospitals surveyed have taken steps to either improve their fare and/or reduce unhealthy offerings. For example, some have eliminated fried food, lowered the price of salads, and increased the price of sugary beverages or eliminated them altogether from their cafeterias.

    "The steps some hospitals are already taking to improve nutrition and reduce junk food are encouraging," Lesser said. "We plan to make this nutritional quality measurement tool available to hospitals around the country to help them assess and improve their food offerings."

    Researchers said hospitals can improve the health of their food offerings by providing more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and smaller portions; shrink the amount of low-nutrient choices, and utilize low-cost options to promote healthy eating such as signage and keeping unhealthy impulse items away from the checkout stand.

    "If we can't improve the food environment in our hospitals, how do we expect to improve the health of food in our community?" Lesser said. "By serving as role models for healthy eating, we can make a small step toward helping children prevent the onset of dietary-related chronic diseases."


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  • Contact: Enrique Rivero
    erivero@mednet.ucla.edu
    310-794-2273
    University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2

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