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Hospitals serve up health – Part 1

Posted on July 7, 2014 by Sarah Eichberger, Michigan State University Extension

Our food environment, the types of foods available near us – at home, in our neighborhoods, at work or school, influences our eating choices. Healthy food environments can make the healthy choice the easy choice and represent an organizational or environmental level intervention that shapes healthy behavior.

Many foods that contribute to poor health and chronic disease of patients seeking care at hospitals can easily be found for sale within the healthcare institution – vending machines, gift shops or the cafeteria. A growing number of hospitals across the country are noticing this irony and responding by taking steps towards improving the food environments within their facilities. These improvements at the institutional level are opportunities to support healthy eating not only for patients, but for staff and visitors, and to model health-promoting behaviors for their communities.

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