Fast food chains in cafeterias put hospitals in tough spot

Fast food sends inconsistent message to customers.

April 11—Removing fast food vendors from hosptial foodservice has become a tricky dance between the desire to provide healthier options and longstanding contracts.

At Truman Medical Center cafeteria in Kansas City, Missouri, the menu features low-calorie, low-fat and low-sodium meals. On the other side of the wall is a McDonald's. The pairing is a sore point for hospital CEO John Bluford who, as chair last year of the American Hospital Association, issued a call to action urging hospitals to eliminate unhealthy food in cafeterias as one way to create a culture of wellness. Serving fast food inside Truman Medical Centers sends "an inconsistent message" to patients, staff and the community, Bluford says.