The MUSC family, patients and visitors now have a choice when it comes
to healthy eating, especially as it relates to snack vending machine
sales at the Medical University Hospital’s cafeteria.
As of Oct. 1, two snack vending machines in the cafeteria area began
featuring color-coded, healthy food selections. Dietetic Internship
Program and Dietetic Services adopted the “Stoplite dining” campaign in
2007 to promote healthy food choices during breakfast and lunch in
the hospital’s cafeteria. This pilot program focuses on nutrition
and aids people to make healthy selections using stoplight color
choices—green, yellow and red—to identify food items.
Jaydn James, 8,
selects a healthy fruit snack from the Medical University Hospital
cafeteria vending machine.
“We wanted to target vending areas because they are always busy, 24/7,”
said Janet Carter, outpatient dietitian, Heart Health program
coordinator. “People need to pay more attention specifically to food
labels and know the total calories, saturated fat, salt, sugar, food
ingredients and serving size in packaged foods before making their
selections. Many will be very surprised.”
Vendors will stock both machines with a variety of healthy choice
(green) foods such as granola bars, pretzels, animal crackers, fruit
snacks, reduced-fat cookies, gum and mints. Items (yellow) denote
choices recommended for two to three servings a day. They include
baked chips, Rice Crispy treats and peanuts. Stop (red) items recommend
only two to three servings per week and feature chips, crackers, candy
and pastries. As part of the project, unhealthy items will display a
$.05 surchange added to item. The surcharge will go to the Children’s
Hospital’s Heart Health program, a program which treats children
who are at-risk for hypertension, obesity and other metabolic disorders.
Following the pilot period, coordinators plan to extend the healthy
choice program to all snack vending machines throughout campus.
According to Carter, the “Go for the Green” program will eventually be
applied to drink machines.
Friday, Oct. 17, 2008