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Inland launches Healthy Hospital Food Initiative

Release Date: 05/23/2017

Inland Hospital announces that it has adopted a new Healthy Hospital Food Initiative that reinforces its ongoing commitment to patients’, staff and visitors’ health and well-being.

Inland is proud to support the health of our communities by increasing the selection of healthier options. As part of the Initiative, Inland will be kicking off a campaign called “Rethink Your Drink” in an effort to encourage staff and the community to make water the beverage of choice.

Beginning on June 1, only plain water, 2%, 1% and non-fat milk, 100% fruit juice, and diet soda will be sold and available in the cafeteria, vending machines, for patients, and at catered meetings and events. Regular soda and other beverage options that contain added sugars and empty calories, and have few, if any, essential nutrients will no longer be available at Inland Hospital.

“We know that over consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages contributes to many health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease to name a few,” says Ev Jackson, RDLD, Inland dietitian and Director of Inland Diabetes and Nutrition Wellness. “Our new efforts help us take an important step in combating these medical issues.”

Jackson and Maggie Black, CDM, CFPP, Inland’s Director of Food Services led the team that established the Initiative. Black notes, “We are committed to help improve access to healthy food and reduce access to unhealthy food. Our goal is to provide options and help make the healthy choice, the easy choice.”

Other aspects of the Healthy Hospital Food Initiative include posting nutrition information for each “meal of the day” in a prominent location, offering smaller portion sizes for items such as desserts, reducing sodium and fat in recipes whenever possible, and promoting local, fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Initiative connects to Inland’s Strategic Plan and a number of Inland’s community health improvement priorities, including obesity prevention and healthy food access.

Hope Pendexter, RN, Inland’s Employee Health Nurse and Coordinator of Inland’s internal Total Health wellness committee calls the initiative important.  “Our employee wellness team is excited to support this effort, and we are proud that Inland leads by example when it comes to creating a healthy food environment.”