Hospital food has always been “food for fodder” but it is a serious concern these days when there is such an obesity epidemic.
As a nurse, social worker and children and family advocate I am troubled when I visit a hospital and see a fast food chain in the hospital food court offering unhealthy choices such as massive burgers and fries.
To me this promotes unhealthy eating habits as well as makes a very incongruous statement to the patients, visitors and employees.
Health care facilities should be actively promoting wellness and not contributing to unhealthy eating by housing “fast food” chains under their roofs. The hospital cafeteria selections are sometimes not all that healthy either.
Children’s Memorial in Chicago is home to a McDonald’s, a favorite of many children as well as adults.
Yes they do have healthy options…but again what is the message being conveyed by the hospital? It seems like one of endorsement.
Children can be taught at a very young age to eat healthy….it is much easier to learn healthy habits than to break unhealthy ones as children grow into overweight teenagers and adults.
- How can we deal with obesity and work on prevention?
- What are the responsibilities of hospitals and healthcare facilities when it comes to food choices?
- What do you think?
Obesity is not going away on its own and the price tag is enormous on the lives of those who are obese and the healthcare system that is treating them.
“The Burger King restaurant inside Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children served its last Whopper this weekend, closing down after the hospital chose not to renew its lease.
The decision followed a bidding process for the food court slot at Canada’s largest pediatric hospital that was meant to offer healthier food options to visitors and staff. It reflects rising consciousness in health institutions of the need to send consistent messages about nutrition and diet at a time when obesity rates across North America are at an all-time high………………………
“It’s funny,” says Dr. Avinashi, “because we have a Shopper’s Drug Mart at SickKids too, and they make this whole effort not to sell any formula because they want to encourage breastfeeding, and yet they still sell pop, Kool-Aid and chocolate bars. So are they concerned about a baby’s nutrition but not that of an older child, or a mother?
“I don’t want to tell them to stop selling gummy bears,” he adds, “but I do think we need to be more consistent in how we advocate better nutrition.”
But as Dr. Avinashi admits, there’s a line between encouraging good food habits and enforcing them. Sometimes even doctors want cheeseburgers.
“I’ve seen doctors remove their name tags when they’re in line, ordering super-value meals,” says Dr. Avinashi. “There’s obviously some guilt associated with that.”