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An Intervention to Increase Availability of Healthy Foods and Beverages in New York City Hospitals: The Healthy Hospital Food Initiative, 2010–2014


The front of the table tent depicts a healthy cafeteria meal. The headline, in large print, reads, “Our cafeteria meals and snacks are healthier than ever.” Balloons that point to parts of the meal describe the improvements. The meat portion is labeled “Less Fat”; a cup of water is tagged “Zero Calories”; vegetables are labeled “Less Salt”; rice is labeled “Whole Grains”; salad is tagged “More Vegetables.” The back of the table tent also reads, “Our cafeteria meals and snacks are healthier than ever.” The text that follows says, Look for More: 

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables 
  • Whole grains: bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, barley, oats 
  • Baked, grilled, steamed, and sautéed food 
  • Right-sized portions of bagels, muffins, cookies, and pastries 
  • Desserts and snacks under 200 calories 
  • Water and other low-calorie beverages
  • This hospital is a proud participant in New York City’s Healthy Hospital Food Initiative. The NYC Health logo is at the bottom of the page.

Figure 1. Promotional signage for hospital cafeterias. Abbreviation: NYC, New York City.

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Figure 2. Number of New York City hospitals at each star status at the end of the Healthy Hospital Food initiative (HHFI). The figure represents the number of hospitals participating in the HHFI that achieved each star status as of September 2014. Clear indicates the hospital joined the HHFI but did not implement nutrition standards in any of the 4 areas. Bronze indicates that the hospital implemented nutrition standards in 1 area; silver indicates implementation in 2 or 3 areas; gold indicates implementation in all 4 areas.

Standard Private Hospitals Public Hospitals
Clear 5 0
Bronze 3 0
Silver 7 14
Gold 9 2

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The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions.

Page last reviewed: June 9, 2016