OAKLAND, CA -- Managed healthcare consortium Kaiser Permanente said it has signed a commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America (Washington) to modify the food offerings in the 37 hospitals it operates. Under this pledge, Kaiser Permanente hospital will implement a program over the next four years to change the mix of food and beverages available in its hospitals.
These adjustment will include limiting "unhealthy" beverages, including sugar-sweetened drinks, to a maximum of 20% of what is purchased in cafeterias and from vending machines; labeling all food and beverage items with calorie counts in cafeterias and on patient menus; and marketing and promoting only "healthy" food and beverage items in cafeterias.
The program also calls for removing all deep-fat fryers and deep-fried products from hospital cafeterias and patient menus; creating "wellness" meals, meeting defined nutritional profiles, for cafeteria and patient menus, and pricing those meals equal to or lower than the cost of other meal options; meeting defined nutritional standards for 60% of entrees and side dishes; and increasing fruit and vegetables to 10% of total food spend, or increasing it by 20% a year.
The commitment with PHA is the most recent in a series of "healthy" food pledges by Kaiser Permanente. Last year, the consortium joined other leading healthcare systems to formally launch the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, a partnership aimed at accelerating progress in healthcare environmental sustainability.