Healthy Food in Health Care
The AMA has called for healthier hospital food—here's how you can help!
Great hospital care means more than state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments—it includes all aspects of the hospital experience, including delicious, healthy food.
For many patients, hospitalization is a “teachable moment,” when they are ready to embrace nutrition as treatment for diabetes, weight issues, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, and many other conditions.
AMA POLICY June 2017
Healthy Food Options in Hospitals: Our AMA hereby calls on US hospitals to improve the health of patients, staff, and visitors by:
- providing a variety of healthful foods, including plant-based meals, and meals that are low in fat, sodium, and added sugars;
- eliminating processed meats from menus; and
- providing and promoting healthful beverages.
Groundbreaking reports from the Physicians Committee:
- Healthy Hospital Food Initiative (2005)
- The Five Worst Hospital Food Environments (2011)
- The Five Worst Children’s Hospital Food Environments (2012)
- The Five Worst Heart Hospital Food Environments (2014)
- 2016 Hospital Food Report (2016)
- Information about fast food in hospitals and ways that you can help make hospital food environments healthier.
Science and Experts Agree
- American Medical Association’s policy on hospital food
- The American College of Cardiology's standards for heart-healthy hospital food
- World Health Organization announcement of carcinogenicity of processed meat
- WHO explains what is meant by “processed meats"
- The AMA Journal of Ethics notes “a hospital is a role-model for both visitors and staff that must set high-quality standards when it comes to nutritional offerings”
- One of the largest not-for-profit health plans, Kaiser Permanente, advises: “Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients.“