Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Leading by example

You know when you go to your doctor and they tell you to eat a healthy diet and you stop at the cafeteria for lunch before your next appointment and they offer fried chicken and fries with a danish for dessert. Well now that is starting to change. The newest trend for hospitals is to become healthier themselves.

No more Dunkin Donuts in the hospital lobby for one. No more fried anything for most. This is part of a new initiative started in 2012 nationally to make hospitals healthier instead of contributing to chronic illness through unhealthy food options. This includes reducing red meat consumption and providing more vegetarian and fish options. Hospitals are also encouraged to try to source food locally. Some have even started rooftop gardens.

In addition, hospitals are taking steps to reduce waste, use of toxic chemicals, more efficient heating and cooling systems, safer chemicals in cleaning products, and increased recycling efforts.

I am very happy to hear this as this is a trend toward 'practicing what they preach' instead of 'do as I say, not as I do'.

I have noticed this at the local hospital where I go. They provide water stations through out the building where patients, visitors and staff can refill water bottles or provided paper cups. Recycling bins are evident. Food choices are leaning toward healthier choices and the cafeteria salad bar has expanded greatly. I had a yummy salad there the other day which was full of sunflower seeds and other healthy options.

This should be the way of the future. I would hope to see all these efforts visible at hospitals nationally and at other commercial and industrial buildings.

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