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Fried Food Ban at Hospitals: Cool or Not?

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what does fried food bring? Ultimately a heart attack according to many cardiologists. This is why more than 250 hospitals across the country are participating in the Healthy Food Pledge, which not only involves serving healthier fare in hospitals but using locally grown food as well.

This pledge means no more fried food in one New Hampshire hospital cafeteria. Although the nursing staff is lamenting the lack of "chicken finger Monday," the staff is sympathetic to the nutritious cause since patient meals will be free of fried food as well. The only drawback is emotional: french fries, the ultimate fried food, are America's comfort food. Hanging out in a hospital usually implies stressful times, so this ban will be forcing patients, staff, and family members to seek new forms of comfort food, which is maybe not such a bad thing after all.

This healthy food initiative comes on the heels of the smoking ban imposed by many hospitals. What do you think?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
biarose biarose 7 years
very good idea. I've been in hospital several times and the crap they feed you at a place where people are supposed to be getting healthy is ridiculous!
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 7 years
What is the harm in removing these items from the menu? Free choice. Fried food will not get you more fat than anything else. It will clog your arteries, yes. But a calorie is a calorie. Fried food will not make you gain weight in itself.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 7 years
I don't think taking fried food from a cafeteria will end the nation's obesity problem, sorry. People who are grossly obese have mental issues and need to work on their mind first and their behaviors second. Telling them to stop eating bad food and exercise will not work if they have an eating disorder. Much like telling an anorexic person to eat more to gain weight. There's a reason why clinics force these people to have a feeding tube to keep them alive.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 7 years
Sorry John2tone Just because there is fried chicken available, doesn't make it impossible to resist. Try some will-power.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 7 years
Hospitals cafeterias should be able to server whatever they want. The actual patient's hospital food is disgusting. I had to run to Whole Foods after seeing what they were trying to feed my grandmother after her heart bypass. I completely believe that poor quality food slows healing.
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 7 years
I am with it! I just see that it makes sense for hospitals given the purpose of the facility - health, care and wellness - of all places should be one that serves healthy & nutrient filled food. You can get fried food just about anywhere so no biggie in my eyes. I have been in the hospital for more spans than I would like to recall (as a patient) and am sure to have more to come and I appreciate this fully.
Sherellj Sherellj 7 years
I think if the hospitals disapproves on the fried foods then lets go along with it. No reason to get all upset and angry
ckeller825 ckeller825 7 years
I don't know, I'm kind of glad it's banned. People in America need to adopt better eating habits. I mean granted, this is a free country, but we also have the biggest obesity problem in the world. If anything, I think hospitals should serve food that's good for the body (who said healthy food has to be boring/bland/expensive). It kind of saddens me that there are about 10 green beans on that food tray in the picture, LoL
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I think it's a good idea, too. When I was visiting a family member at the hospital, I was appalled by the food he was served (high-caloried, high-sodium, fatty meals). Incidentally, it's the same food that's served in the CAFETERIA. My family member had a number of serious medical issues, and these meals were NOT healing and nutritious enough. I immediately contacted the Doctor, and switched my family member's meals to a "special" low-sodium, low fat menu. Incidentally, I never ate at the cafeteria. Sorry, the idea of pizza and french fries is not my idea of a balanced, nutritious meal. I always left the hospital, and crossed the street to a bagel and salad cafe. Healthy, nutritious food can be nourishing AND comforting, too. In my opinion, herb-roasted chicken can be just as delicious and comforting as fried chicken. Likewise, crusty-baked potatoes (with low-fat healthy toppings) would be a good alternative to french fries. It's possible to get the best of BOTH worlds (nutrition and comfort).
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
I think it's exactly the right thing to do. It's ridiculous to me that you can continue to buy your heart attack in a hospital cafeteria. I disagree with you, Spectra, that it isn't harmful. I fully support the occasional indulgence, but I don't think people with "really healthy lifestyles" will choose the hospital as the place to do so. Even so, it sets a bad example. Everyone can eat their fried chicken when they get home.
jessicaeden jessicaeden 7 years
I was in the hospital for a week and I was appalled by the food they served patients! I think this is a step in the right direction; hopsitals need to be promoting healthy diets!!!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I think it's great! Don't just preach a healthy diet, offer it on the menu. And it's for the visitor's and staff, and what better way to ensure that your staff is healthy than to offer healthier food choices. They're still going to offer cookies and cakes. They're just cutting out fried food. If staff or visitors have a problem, I'm sure they can leave the hospital to go get something else. I work close to a health insurance headquarters and they have banned smoking on their entire campus property. It's great - people who work there have remarked it got them to quit because they would have to get in their cars and drive off campus to go have a cigarette or walk about 10 minutes away. At the beginning of winter you would see huddles of the smokers just off campus, but as it got colder and snowier, the huddles disappeared. If you're in the health industry, you'd be smart to offer what you preach. You're not obligated to make it convenient for people to indulge in bad decisions.
fitvancouver fitvancouver 7 years
Am I the only one who's amazed they didn't do this along time ago? People in hospitals are ill and need the best possible nutrition to heal. I think it's great that the hospitals have decided to make this move.
2muchtv 2muchtv 7 years
It would be nice to have healthy alternatives to fried foods, but having to leave the hospital to indulge is kinda sad. They're not serving the food to the patients, it's for the visitors, staff, and volunteers. If you're spending most of your time in the hospital, it's nice to splurge every once in a while. Then again, it's not like most hospitals aren't near other inexpensive restaurants. Forcing nutrition on people is what leads to over-indulgence, moderation is the key. Having two healthy alternatives for the fried food is sending a better message, IMHO, than removing choices. Personally, having more vegetarian choices would be higher in my list than removing french fries.
cg130 cg130 7 years
Great news!
Spectra Spectra 7 years
FYI--the food they serve in the cafeterias is not the same food they serve to the IPs in the hospitals...they have a separate dietary department that handles all that stuff so that they can serve patients on specialized diets.
wmoonw wmoonw 7 years
I'm not sold on banning the fried foods altogether. There are plenty of people in the hospital who are in need of the calories, or for whom getting any food into their systems is good (cancer patients come to mind). I would much rather see them switching to friendlier frying oils, or maybe offering a few food options at mealtimes, than banning fried foods altogether.
Kazagirl Kazagirl 7 years
I mean in a hospital it makes sense to get rid of fried foods. I also don't think it is that serious for anyone to make a big deal over. If you are a patient and you can't go a few days without something fried then clearly you need help in the first place.
Wild-Magelet Wild-Magelet 7 years
I think it's a fantastic idea. It's never made sense to me that they would serve anything other than healthful, fresh, healing food in hospital - it's a place where the whole purpose and focus is on healing! I'm sure a lot of people end up there because they're eating a bad diet anyway; surely the hospital ought to be setting a good example. And healthy and fresh doesn't have to equal boring or unappetising. Fresh fruit and vegetables would have been a lot more appealing to me in my miserable, nauseous post-operative state last year than the plate of greasy zucchini fritters I was handed!
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Spectra - the government is not behind this. Alas, though it would be wonderful to blame every problem in America (including french fry deprivation) on Barack Obama, it looks like the hospitals all made this pledge purely on their own initiative. I also find it interesting that people view the ban as "taking away people's right to eat fried food," because it can also be viewed in terms of a business (hospital) having the freedom to decide what types of food it will or will not serve. If someone needs their fried chicken that badly, they can simply pick a different hospital. Honestly, I don't know why everyone is so mad about this -- I can't go into a Subway and demand an order of fries, because that is not the kind of food they serve there, so why is it so outrageous for a cafeteria located in a hospital to decide that it only wants to serve certain kinds of food?
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