Packard Children’s Hospital signs on to Partnership for a Healthier America

“Having good-tasting, healthy foods easily available is important for everyone who comes through our doors,” said CHRISTOPHER G. DAWES, president and CEO of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH) recently, summing up the nutritional commitment the hospital is making to its patients, families, visitors and staff.

The hospital recently announced that it had joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in developing strategies to respond to childhood obesity. “We’re glad to be playing such an important role in helping set national standards for healthy food options,” Dawes said.

LPCH is one of only 10 children’s hospital systems among 155 signing on with the nonpartisan, nonprofit PHA, which is working with the private sector and Honorary Chair and First Lady MICHELLE OBAMA to end the obesity epidemic.

Even before joining PHA, LPCH removed deep-fat fryers from the cafeteria and stopped serving of sugar-sweetened drinks. The hospital introduced more whole-grain breads and pastas, low-fat dairy and meat products, low-fat and low-calorie entrees, many new vegetarian options and more sensible portion sizes.

“This was a key part of the change,” said STEPHEN ROTH, chief of pediatric cardiology and medical director of the Children’s Heart Center. “We tend to eat more than we need, especially at stressful times. Ensuring smaller portions as the norm makes it easy for those under stress to make healthy choices.”

“Being a part of the Partnership for a Healthier America is extremely important to us,” Dawes said. “It’s an extension of our ongoing commitment to quality care across not just our communities and health network but also across the nation.”