created over 3 years ago | Tagged:
A large banner hanging on the parking garage at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center welcomes patients to a “tobacco-free DHMC.” Now, a year after cigarettes were banned at the facility, the hospital could display another sign about its latest health initiative: a ban on deep-fried food.
French fries, fried chicken and salads served in deep-fried taco shells are among the items scratched from the medical center's menu as of July 4, a year to the day after smoking was banned at the Upper Valley's largest employer. “I'll miss chicken-finger Mondays,” said DHMC nurse Hilarie Snogren. “But I do understand, this being a hospital.”
The fried food ban -- happening at hospitals nationwide as well as in the Upper Valley -- came about at DHMC after employees on a tobacco committee decided they had a larger mandate and took up other healthy initiatives.
Hospital dieticians have inherited food systems that don't support people's health, Imrie said. It’s time to “fix the system,” she added. Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon is considering joining the Healthy Food in Health Care program, said Sam Fazio, food service director there. “We're a health care facility, and I don't want to promote unhealthy eating,” he said.
Agreeing to be so public about the weight loss project wasn't easy, said Butterly, who described himself as “a very private person.” But, like the fried-food ban, such a project “breaks down a wall” and may get others thinking about behavior changes, he said. “Your environment changes, your culture changes and people start behaving differently,” he said.