Not long after Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Health+Hospitals CEO Mitchell Katz recently announced that Vegan lunches would be become the default option in at H+H/Lincoln, Metropolitan, and Woodhull Hospitals, the city says the healthier meals are being well-received by patients at the three facilities.
According to City Hall, these healthy meals are being served within all Health+Hospitals while being served as default lunch in three of the medical centers. Moreover, a staggering 60% of patients have chosen to stick with the plant-based option over the meat counterpart.
With H+H serving approximately 3 million lunch and dinner meals each year, the mayor and Katz believe that offering tasty and healthy food to patients could have a profound effect on the war on obesity and diabetes by introducing New Yorkers to food they may have never otherwise never known about.
Mayor Adams made tackling unhealthy food the primary focal point when taking the city’s helm and has delivered on that promise. Hizzoner, who is himself a vegan, first pushed for healthy meals in schools in order to put a dent in childhood obesity and diabetes. This has now been followed up with the inclusion of plant-based meals served to those recovering in hospitals. This is something close to Adams’ heart, knowing all too well the difference a plate can make.
“I know from my own experience overcoming Type 2 diabetes with a whole-food, plant-based diet that oftentimes,” Mayor Adams told amNewYorkMetro. “By introducing nutritious, plant-based, culturally appropriate meals as the primary options for patients at NYC Health + Hospitals facilities, we can reduce rates of chronic disease like the one I suffered from and send a clear message that the food we eat matters — for recovery from illness and overall health.”
“As a primary care physician, I speak with all of my patients about the importance of a healthy diet and how it can help fend off or treat chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease,” Katz said in a statement. “Our new meal program is rooted in evidence for health benefits and environmental sustainability, and expands on the success of our Meatless Mondays Program.”
The mayor’s office says that there are 14 different meals from a variety of cultures, comprising of Latin, Asian, and many more cuisines. Lunches include Thai noodle bowls, Spanish vegetable paella with yellow rice, and a Southern black-eyed pea casserole. Food Service Associates work with patients on meal choice and selection from the beginning of their stay until they are discharged and encourage them to choose healthy meals as part of their healing and recovery plan of care.
Not only will producing these meals be better to the environment during a time when climate change is becoming a more important issue by the day, it is also hoped it could change the food culture help create a healthier city in years to come.