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Monday, May 31, 2010

The Paradox of the Hospital Cafeteria

Have you seen the offerings of your local hospital cafeteria?

The hospital is a place of healing.  Many people who are hospitalized have illnesses that are at least partially due to poor diet choices.

So, then, why is it that the cafeteria serves up unhealthy fare?  Fried chicken.  Hamburgers.  Bacon and sausage and biscuits with gravy.  A delicious vegan noodle dish, but with 2200 mg of sodium per serving.  Sure, there is a salad bar and plenty of fruit, but why do we need to serve the junk too?

Why not make the cafeteria a place where the loved ones of patients can learn about healthy food choices?


Amanda said...

Hospital cafeterias and school cafeterias seem to be on the same page....that is, the WRONG page!

Amanda said...

This drives me crazy. These are the foods that are causing the very illnesses that are putting people in the hospital. My own view can be a little extreme, but it seems like it would be the same as offering people cigarettes during their hospital stay.

Tim said...

I guess there's a weak argument to be made that these are the comfort foods visitors want when their love ones end up hospitalized, but yes it seems counter intuitive.

Jeannie said...

I'm going to post an excerpt from our local newspaper. I was stunned when I read this article. Alas, I haven't had a chance to eat there yet!! The hospital is a Seventh Day Adventist hospital.

Ridge hospital opens vegan restaurant
May 3, 2010

PARADISE — Garden Fresh Bistro, a restaurant recently opened by Feather River Hospital, has it all, according to Rick Mautz, director of the hospital's wellness center.

It's got healthy and delicious food, some local history (it's in the hospital's original building), and it boasts a wonderful view of the Feather River Canyon, he said.

At this restaurant, the emphasis is on healthy eating. Garden Fresh
Bistro has a menu that is completely vegan: no animal products are used.

Mautz said he got the idea for the restaurant after encountering so many people who knew they needed a better diet but said they didn't have time to cook healthy food.

"I wanted to take away their excuse," he said. "I thought if I could have people taste food that is healthy and tastes good, it would catch on."


mark said...

I work in a hospital in New Zealand, and they don't serve fried food at any of the cafeterias here! That would be AWFUL! They do serve unhealthy food though, there are various paninis and sandwiches, fizzy drinks, cakes and chocolate things that aren't great for you. But nothing that would fall into the category of 'fast food'! More 'cafe food'.