A few weeks ago I had to have some diagnostic testing done. Nothing major – but there was a wait time involved and the tech said to me I could grab a bite to eat while I waited. Since I actually was hungry (and had lost the paper that said if I could eat before or not…), I went to grab something at the Souper Salad located at my favorite HUB area teaching hospital. I don’t know if it’s a city law (or state – things I don’t pay attention to in this area) but the calorie counts were posted and a full nutritional disclosure was available. From their website, the restaurant claims “Since 1976, Souper Salad has been satisfying Boston’s appetite with a healthy and delicious menu filled with the freshest Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Wraps, Pita Pizzas and our signature Walkabouts.” Healthy? As in Carol Brady healthy. I was stunned. Normally this isn’t a blog worthy event: although I’ll admit being a bit surprised that all of the breakfast options had over 25 grams of fat and the sodium count is out of this world (I mean, we are IN a hospital people! In all fairness the other option is Starbucks which isn’t much better and is a privately owned chain.). Thankfully, I found a Luna bar at the bottom of my bag and grabbed an over priced bottle of water.
I was thinking this was some wacko anomaly until I ran across the following post on Fooducate. 3 major children’s hospitals in this country have a McDonald’s on site. Yup, you read that right: Children’s of San Diego, Children’s of Los Angeles and Texas Children’s. According to Fooducate, the one at CHOP closed because of space needs. Ok, let me think this through: you have a child at a major teaching center, chances are it’s not for putting in ear tubes. S/he has some thing seriously wrong or (let’s face it) because of the teaching status of the hospitals, you might be on some form of Medicare/Medicaid. What does it say about the hospital to rent out the space to a known purveyor of
garbage? junk food as one of the options? How do doctors/nurses/dietitians look patients in the face and provide advise on overcoming obesity, eating healthy with limited resources, and providing tips on foods that are better choices than fast food when down the hall sits the golden arches?
Look, I’m the first to say hospital food (for the most part) sucks. But the one thing hospital foods (and eateries in a hospital should be) is nutritious. Perhaps as part of their well needed awareness on the food choices people make, the medical community should examine the food available within the four walls of their institutions. In times of need, stress many people will eat: perhaps not encouraging bad nutrition by what is available would be a good first step.