The Mount Sinai Hospital Attains Silver Status In City’s Healthy Hospital Food Initiative
Mount Sinai was honored for reducing access to high-calorie beverages in vending machines, meeting new standards for sodium limits, and increasing fruit and vegetable servings in patient meals.
The Mount Sinai Hospital has achieved Silver status in the New York City Department of Health's recently launched Healthy Hospital Food Initiative, a program that promotes healthier food choices in hospitals. Mount Sinai was honored for reducing the availability and portion size of high-calorie beverages in vending machines, meeting new Health Department standards for sodium limits, and increasing fruit and vegetable servings in patient meals.
"We support the Health Department's move to promote more nutritious options in hospitals and are proud to participate in this important initiative aimed at primary prevention of obesity and chronic disease," said Kenneth L. Davis, MD, president and CEO of The Mount Sinai Medical Center. "We need to recognize that on an individual level, obesity underlies or exacerbates most chronic disease today, including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. On a broader level, they result in many avoidable hospitalizations, re-admissions and, ultimately, trillions of dollars in health care spending."
Mount Sinai's Broad-Based Campaign to Curb Obesity
Over the past 20 years, the prevalence of obesity among adults has increased from 12 percent to 34 percent, and among children and adolescents, the rate has nearly tripled, from seven percent to 19 percent. These trends have inspired Mount Sinai to take a comprehensive approach to combatting obesity and obesity-linked diseases. These efforts include:
- Establishing a local Green Market, where fresh local produce is sold;
- Offering more fresh produce and fruit options in its cafeterias;
- Eliminating high-sugar beverages from the vending machines;
- Augmenting its Adolescent Nutrition and Wellness Program to curb eating disorders and obesity;
- Increasing the array of community outreach services and programs in preventive health through the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership;
- Expanding Mount Sinai's adult Eating and Weight Disorders program;
- Offering advanced weight-loss procedures in its Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program, and
- Enhancing patient education programs in its Diabetes Center, cited as one of the top 14 such centers in the nation by US News & World Report.
Citywide Healthy Hospital Food Initiative
Mount Sinai is one of 17 private hospitals in New York City participating in the city's healthy food initiatives, which makes healthier choices readily available for staff, patients and visitors across multiple venues. The program was first implemented by the NYC Health and Hospital Corporation's 15 medical facilities and is now being voluntarily adopted by the city's private hospitals, where it will impact over 150,000 hospital employees and millions of hospital patients and visitors annually.
The NYC Food Standards, established by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2008, are intended to improve healthy food choices for cafeterias, beverage vending machines, food vending machines and patient meals in hospitals.
For example, at least half of all sandwiches, salads, and entrees offered in hospital cafes and cafeterias must contain 500 calories or less, zero grams of trans fat per portion and not be deep fried, eight ounce servings of soup have no more than 480 mg of sodium, items such as bread and pasta include whole grains with at least two grams of fiber, 75 percent of beverages must be low-calorie, and water made available at no charge. In addition, calorie counts must be posted for all foods that do not have such labeling.
The citywide healthy food initiative was launched with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services. Funding is administered by the Fund for Public Health in New York, a private non-profit organization that supports innovative initiatives by the New York City Health Department.
About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Medical School is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty members in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report.
The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 14th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation's top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and by U.S. News & World Report and whose hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place.
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