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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 11, November 2012, Posted On: 10/18/2012

Kaiser Permanente Pacts With PHA To Adjust Food, Beverage Menus

Tim Sanford
TAGS: vending, vending machine, Kaiser Permanent, Partnership for a Healthier America, healthy vending pledge

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.

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