Study: Food at children’s hospitals in California loaded with sugar, fat
Hospitals are supposed to be places to get healthy. But at some hospitals in California, you just get fat.
Some researchers looked at food options at 14 of the state’s children’s hospitals and determined that only 7 percent of the hospital’s cafeteria entrees were healthy. Many of the offerings consisted of sugar-sweetened beverages, fried chicken, burgers, fries and, conveniently located by the cash register, large refrigerators full of ice cream, according to a study published Dec. 1 in Academic Pediatrics and Kaiser Health News.
“With so many people eating there, children’s hospitals should be exemplars for healthy eating,” says Lenard Lesser, lead author of the study and a physician at UCLA Family Center.
It’s important to note that the study looked at cafeterias and snack bars used by visitors, outpatients and staff. It did not look at food served to hospitalized patients.
The study was conducted by the UCLA School of Medicine and RAND Corp. in July 2010. Lesser says he told each of the hospitals of the results and has heard back from two hospitals that are working to improve what kind of food they serve in their cafeterias.
Lesser says UCLA’s children’s hospital no longer will serve fried foods and trans fats, and Stanford’s children’s hospital removed sugar-sweetened beverages, and replaced ice cream and cookies with apples and bananas.