PALO ALTO, Calif.--()--“Having good-tasting, healthy foods easily available is important for everyone who comes through our doors.”
“This was a key part of the change”
That statement from President and CEO Christopher G. Dawes perfectly sums up the nutritional commitment Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is making to its patients, families, visitors and staff. In late 2012, the hospital joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in developing strategies to impact childhood obesity. “We’re glad to be playing such an important role in helping set national standards for healthy food options,” Dawes said.
Packard Children’s is one of only 10 children’s hospital systems among 155 signing on with the nonpartisan, nonprofit PHA, which is working with the private sector and Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama to end the epidemic. In total, these hospitals serve more than 60 million meals each year to patients, visitors and staff. Across the hospitals represented by this commitment, if these changes result in just 100 fewer calories consumed at one of every three meals served, intake can be reduced by a staggering 2 trillion calories annually.
The hospital was leading the way even before joining PHA. In 2012, Packard Children’s removed deep-fat fryers from the cafeteria and ended the serving of sugar-sweetened beverages. Additionally, there was the introduction of more whole grain breads and pastas, low-fat dairy and meat products, low-fat and low-calorie entrees, and many new vegetarian options. More sensible portion sizes were offered. “This was a key part of the change,” said Stephen Roth, MD, MPH, chief of pediatric cardiology and medical director of the Children's Heart Center. "We tend to eat more than we need, especially at stressful times. Ensuring smaller portions as the norm makes it easy for those under stress to make healthy choices.”
In 2013 and over the next three years, Packard Children’s and other hospitals partnering with PHA plan to implement several changes to increase the amount of healthy food available in hospitals. These include daily wellness meals that meet nutritional standards; the display of health-promoting food options near cash register stations; and increasing the percentage of fruits and vegetables available. “Many of these improvements are already under way at Packard Children’s,” Dawes said.
Every organization that works with PHA is required to agree that PHA will monitor and report on progress toward their commitment. To verify the commitments, each hospital is working with Altarum, a third-party evaluator, providing relevant data as well as allowing direct observations at a randomly selected number of hospitals.
“Being a part of the Partnership for a Healthier America is extremely important to us,” Dawes said. “It’s an extension of our ongoing commitment to quality care across not just our communities and health network, but also across the nation.”
About Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford is an internationally recognized 311-bed hospital, research center and leading regional medical network providing the full complement of services for the health of children and expectant mothers. In partnership with the Stanford University School of Medicine, our world-class doctors and nurses deliver innovative, family-centered care in every pediatric and obstetric specialty, tailored to every patient. Packard Children’s is annually ranked as one of the nation’s best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and is the only Northern California children’s hospital with specialty programs ranked in the U.S. News Top 10. Learn more about us at www.lpch.org and about our continuing growth at growing.lpch.org. Like us on Facebook, watch us on YouTube and follow us on Twitter.
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation's most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit ahealthieramerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.