Hospitals are facilities that focus on health issues and disease, so it makes sense that these facilities would offer up healthy dining options – but all too often, this isn’t the case. According to recent reports, the American Medical Association, or AMA, is requesting that hospitals offer up more plant-based food options and reduce the processed meats and sugary beverages found in most hospitals’ diets. The AMA represents 200,000 physician members, and these doctors are concerned about the foods offered in many hospitals and their link to some serious diseases such as diabetes.
Will cafeteria foodservice improve? Hopefully so, for both patients’ and visitors’ sakes. AMA board member, Dr. William E. Kobler, wrote in a statement that some of the country’s most debilitating diseases have been linked to excessive sugar consumption, and that health outcomes, along with costs related to chronic diseases, could be improved by limiting sugar-sweetened beverages – not to mention how limiting these beverages could help prevent the onset of these diseases in the first place.
The AMA recommends a starting point for healthier choices begin with vending machines containing sugary drinks. Some of the options to replace these drinks could include unsweetened teas and coffees, unflavored milk, and water. The AMA House of Delegates issued a policy statement at its June 14th annual meeting that focuses on not only sugary beverages, but processed meat and a lack of healthy, plant-based foods. Specifically the AMA would like to see hospitals in the U.S. provide a variety of healthy plant-based options low in sodium, fat, and added sugars; do away with processed meats; and provide healthy beverages.
For many patients, staff, and visitors who visit hospital cafeterias, the options include canned vegetables, fried hamburger patties, refried chicken patties, French fries, mashed potatoes and gravy, and even pizza. Just how healthy are these foods, especially in a hospital setting? Enough said.
Hopefully we’ll see cafeteria foodservice improve in the near future in hospitals, considering they are health facilities we trust to take care of health issues – not cause them. We all know processed foods, excess sugar, and high fat content lead to stroke, heart disease, obesity, and even cancer. Time to take action!
Contract hospital foodservice is our business, and has been for decades. When it comes to freshness, quality, and service in healthier menu options, you can count on Gourmet Services, Inc. for food service excellence.