Colo. hospitals make healthy operations pledge

Commitment to serve healthy food part of initiative.

May 25—Eleven major hospital systems in Colorado have signed onto a national effort known as the Healthier Hospitals Initiative that aims to improve the health and safety not just of patients but of the communities and environment around them as well.

Under the initiative campaign — a three-year effort signed on April 3 that will gather data from participating facilities to demonstrate the fiscal and environmental impacts of the measure — facilities will be asked to do six things:

• Engage in leadership on environmental health and sustainability;
• Serve healthier foods;
• Reduce energy use;
• Reduce waste;
• Use safer chemicals; and
• Purchase environmentally preferable products.

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Fifty-seven percent of consumers age 18-34 find spicy flavors, “extremely appealing,” according to Technomic. And almost 50% of college students surveyed said they would like their schools to offer more ethnic foods and beverages, states a recent Technomic College & University Consumer Trend Report. Translation: they like their food kicked up a notch!

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