When I worked at the NYC Health Department, one of my favorite projects was the Healthy Hospital Food Initiative. It was incredibly collaborative, with our hospital partners doing most of the heavy lifting. We provided the guidelines, framework and nutrition technical support as needed, and they made the changes on the ground, often with a lot of creative problem-solving. I'm really proud of this project, with over 60% of NYC hospitals participating (which includes some of the largest facilities and largest employers in NYC). There were a lot of substantial changes - getting the junk food out, yes, but also making healthier options more available.
Our case study on the success of the Healthy Hospital Food Initiative was published last week in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease: www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2016/15_0541.htm. I hope this will be a helpful resource for others looking to make healthy changes to the food options in hospitals. Below is a picture of the posters we created to support the initiative.
From the article --
"Using the standards provided by the health department, hospitals made substantial healthy improvements in their cafeterias, including labeling items with caloric information, reducing availability of sugary drinks, increasing whole grains in sandwiches and entrees, and reducing sodium."
For more on the Healthy Hospital Food Initiative, here is an article I was interviewed for on the launch of the initiative: foodservicedirector.com/industry-news-opinion/five-questions/articles/nyc-s-healthy-hospital-food-initiative-ashley-lederer.