50 Michigan hospitals join forces to fight obesity

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Fifty Michigan hospitals are joining together as part of an initiative designed to fight obesity and promote healthy eating habits for children and adults.

The Healthy Food Hospitals program, organized by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, is being announced Thursday. The goal is to create more nutritious food choices for hospitalized patients, their visitors and workers.

The goal is for all 140 Michigan hospitals to join the effort, The Detroit News reported.

The issue is particularly important in the state, where medical costs associated with tackling obesity tally more than $3 billion and nearly one in three adults are obese, according to Trust for America’s Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Healthy Kids.

Hospitals in the campaign must agree to create nutritious, alternative menus for children, serve healthy beverages throughout the hospital and provide menu labels so people know the fat, sugar, salt and carbohydrate contents of cafeteria foods.

Many hospitals already have started the programs.

Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak has a weekly farmer’s market where growers from a 100-mile radius bring fresh foods for sale.

Beaumont’s chef also buys produce at the market and prepares a weekly menu offering, Maureen Husek, director of nutrition and retail services at Beaumont, told the Detroit Free Press.

The hospital limits fruit juices to those without sugar, and milk must be free of human growth hormone supplements, she said.

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Online: http://www.healthyfoodhospitals.org

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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