Healthy Hospitals, Healthy Food

Oranges and apples

Hospitals should make it easy for staff and patients to make healthy food choices, such as by offering nutritious foods and beverages and limiting junk food and sugary beverages.

Here is a summary of hospital and healthcare clinic food environment recommendations for obesity prevention, based on a review of expert guidance from the American Medical Association, the Institute of Medicine, and others. For more detailed guidance on these recommendations and ideas for putting them into practice, explore the source listand the links to other resources.

Encourage healthcare providers and clinic employees to model healthy eating (1,2,3,4)

Offer healthy food and beverages to employees and patients (1,4,5)

Ban the sale and marketing of unhealthy food and beverages on clinic and hospital premises (5,6)

Promote breastfeeding among new mothers who give birth in the hospital or clinic, as well as for hospital and clinic employees who are nursing (7,8,9,10,11,12)

Healthy Hospitals, Healthy Food-Source List

1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Prevention and Treatment of Child Overweight and Obesity: Policy Opportunities Tool. American Academy of Pediatrics, 2010. Accessed February 7, 2012.

2. Koplan JP, Liverman CT, Kraak VI, eds. Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press; 2005.

3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010Rockville: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2010.

4. Centre for Public Health Excellence. Guidance on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children. London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence: 2006.

5. American Medical Association.Proceedings of the 2005 Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates: Resolutions. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association; 2005.

6. Strasburger VC. Children, adolescents, and advertising. Pediatrics. 2006;118:2563-9.

7. Gartner LM, Morton J, Lawrence RA, et al. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics. 2005;115:496-506.

8. American Medical Association. H-245.982 AMA Support for Breastfeeding. In: American Medical Association PolicyFinder; 2011.

9. Shealy K, Li R, Benton-Davis S, Grummer-Strawn L.The CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2005.

10. Let’s Move. Healthcare Providers Take Action. Accessed February 2, 2012.

11. Parker L, Burns AC, Sanchez E. Local government actions to prevent childhood obesity. Washington, D.C.: Institute of Medicine; 2009.

12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2011.