New York public hospitals to make plant-based meals the default after successful trial

Read Time:   |  12th October 2022

'We are proud to announce the successful rollout and expansion of default plant-based lunch and dinner options at all H+H sites'.

New York has expanded an initiative to make plant-based meals the default for patients in hospitals.

Spearheaded by mayor Eric Adams and New York City Health + Hospitals (H+H) – the campaign started in March this year, with all 11 public hospitals in the NYC area serving plant-based lunches as the ‘primary option’ to inpatients.

The trial saw around 60 percent of patients opting for the vegan option if it was listed as the chef’s special – with 95 percent of participants saying they also enjoyed the meals.

Now, H+H/Lincoln, Metropolitan, and Woodhull Hospitals will also make their primary dinner offering plant-based.

‘Already changing lives’

“When it comes to preventing diet-related chronic disease, there is a growing recognition that it’s not our DNA — it’s our dinner,” said Mayor Adams. 

“Since January, we have introduced Plant-Powered Fridays into schools, introduced fresh produce into the nation’s only municipal emergency food system, and expanded Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Clinics to public hospitals across all five boroughs.

“Now, we are proud to announce the successful rollout and expansion of default plant-based lunch and dinner options at all H+H sites. 

“This transformative program is already changing lives, empowering patients to take control of their own health and further cementing New York City as a leader in preventive medicine.”

Plant-based meals in New York hospitals

H+H aims to offer plant-based dinner options at all hospitals in the coming months, and by the end of 2022, plans to provide plant-based supplements and tube feeds.

So far, the organisation has contributed to approximately 864,000 plant-based meals per year being served.

NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD said: “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.

“Our new meal program is rooted in evidence for health benefits and environmental sustainability, and expands on the success of our Meatless Mondays Program.”

*Patients still have the option to order non-vegan meals in all hospitals participating in the initiative

Hospital stays are never easy, but they’re even more difficult if your dietary requirements aren’t catered for.

Here we take a look at vegan hospital food in the UK.

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Vegan Food & Living

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