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Thursday, June 4, 2009

A New Brand of Hospital Food

If you've ever had the misfortune to be at the mercy of a hospital cafeteria, you know how terrible the food can be. But as an article on CNN.com reports, it has also become increasingly unhealthy. One study found that 42 percent of U.S. hospitals housed fast food restaurants like McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and Wendy's, serving up the very artery-clogging fare that lands people in the hospital. Talk about sending a mixed message!

Fortunately, many hospitals are coming to their senses. Some are ending their agreements with fast food establishments, and others have even begun hosting farmers markets. Dr. Preston Maring, a family physician who brought farmers markets to Kaiser hospitals in 2003, had this to say:
It's clear to me over all these years that what people eat is the single most important determinant of their overall health. It just struck me one day--why not bring good food to a place where people get their health care to see if it could become a focal point for education?
It's a fantastic idea that I hope catches on. Michelle Obama used her new White House vegetable garden to reinforce the importance of a healthy diet, and bringing farmers markets to hospitals is another positive step.

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