A proposed bill by the Washington D.C. City Council would ban bacon and hot dogs from D.C. hospitals.
The bill, introduced by Mary Cheh, of Ward 3, calls for the elimination of processed meats from hospital menus and would require plant-based options for patients, hospital staff and visitors. It also requires hospitals to reduce the number of soda and sugar-sweetened beverages in vending machines, on hospital menus and in cafeterias, according to ABC 7 in D.C.
More specifically, The Healthy Hospitals Amendment Act of 2019 bill requires that:
(1) Hospitals shall make available to patients, staff, and visitors a variety of healthful foods, including vegetarian and 100% plant-based meals, and meals that are low in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars, and shall ensure that all patients, staff, and visitors are made aware of these options through appropriate menu listings, signage, or other means; (2) Hospitals shall eliminate processed meats from all menus; (3) Hospitals shall provide and promote healthful beverages.
Similar bills have been passed in California and New York already.
“Doctors and healthcare providers have long advised us that nutrition is essential to health, and we’re finally seeing healthy food be taken seriously as an important part of healthcare,” Cheh said about the bill. “Go into a hospital and you will see sugary drinks, processed meats, and foods high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fat—the very same foods we know are making us sick.”
Cheh has the support of a D.C-based non-profit called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which has more than 12,000 physicians and 175,000 nationwide members, behind her.
"It’s not uncommon for patients to wake up from heart surgery to be greeted with bacon and sausage—the very foods that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place,” says Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
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