OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente, a champion of healthy eating, announced Saturday it has signed a commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America to improve food offerings in its 37 hospitals.
Kaiser Permanente has a long-standing focus on promoting healthy eating, including pioneering efforts to bring healthy food to its hospital cafeterias, vending machines and patient food service. With this announcement, the organization is building on those efforts by offering more fruits and vegetables in cafeterias and on hospital meal trays, providing healthier beverages and meal options with fewer calories, less saturated fat and a balance of nutritious ingredients, and promoting a wide variety of healthy food and beverages to its workforce.
"As a health care organization, we have an obligation to provide the healthiest food possible in order to promote the total health of our members and our workforce," said Bernard Tyson, Kaiser Permanente's president and chief operating officer. "Problems like obesity and diabetes require us to redouble our efforts to make the healthy choice the easy, affordable and convenient choice. And health care organizations need to lead the way."
Kaiser Permanente hospitals and facilities will demonstrate this new commitment over the next four years by:
- Labeling all food and beverage items with calorie counts in cafeterias and on patient menus.
- Limiting unhealthy beverages, including sugar-sweetened drinks, to a maximum of 20 percent of what is purchased in cafeterias and vending machines.
- Removing all deep fat fryers and deep fried products from hospital cafeterias and patient menus.
- Marketing and promoting only healthy food and beverage items in cafeterias.
- Creating "wellness meals" for cafeteria and patient menus that meet defined nutritional profiles, and pricing those meals equal to or less than the cost of other meal options.
- Meeting defined nutritional standards for 60 percent of entrees and side dishes.
- Increasing fruit and vegetables to 10 percent of total food spend, or increasing it by 20 percent a year