Because the local health board is seeking to set a good example of healthy eating, hospitals in Auckland, New Zealand will no longer be permitted to stock full-sized candy barsÂ in their vending machines. With a limit of 800 kj (approx. 190 calories) per snack, doctors, nurses, other staff members and those waiting worriedly to hear about how their loved ones are doing will not be able to indulge in the same kinds of snacks they might have been tempted by before.
The board plans to restrict the use of full-fat milk in hospital tea rooms (break rooms), as well – also in the name of positive role modeling. In Wellington, some doctors report that cheese is no longer a staple in their break room, since it was deemed to be “too high in fat.”
While role-modeling and fighting obesity are all well and good, it is rather funny that the health board chose hospitals as their testing site. After all, doctors can’t possibly make an educated decision about whether or not to have a Snickers on their break – right? Under this system, it is possible that more staff members will venture off of the hospital grounds for meals and snacks if they can’t get a pick-me-up that suits their tastes at work.
No information was given on what the board would do if a staff member brought in a plate of homemade cookies to share in the break room, but you can bet that “hide them from the health board” is probably at the top of the list.
JEPAugust 7, 2007
Interesting concept. I am a dietitian working at a local hospital that allows no vending machines at all. On the flip side, the hospital cafeteria is mostly high fat & high sodium choices as well as well-known fast food vendors featured each week. When educating my cardiac patients, families quite often point these facts out. Outside food to patients is almost always allowed. Nursing breakrooms are the worst which the doctors feel free to grab snax! Utimately, it is all down to one’s own daily food choices.