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Let’s put healthy snacks into vending machines

Ministries across Trinity Health, including Mercy Medical Center-New Hampton, are implementing healthy vending programs to provide convenient access to healthy options in our vending machines for patients, visitors and colleagues.This effort is a part of Trinity Health's People-Centered 2020 strategic plan prioritizes obesity prevention, which has become an epidemic.   In 1980, not a single state had an obesity rate above 20 percent.  Today, every single state exceeds a 20 percent obesity rate and two-thirds of all Americans are either overweight or obese.  Obesity-related chronic diseases are one of the most common and costly of all health problems — and a leading driver of health care costs. Incrementally improving the food and beverage environment is a proven obesity-prevention strategy.  As a healthcare system, it is important to us to model healthy food choices. We know diet plays a huge role in obesity and chronic disease. We want our facility to be an environment that promotes health by offering healthy options that are easy to access.Food choices may include dried fruit, whole fruit, nuts and seeds, baked chips, granola bars, protein bars, low-fat yogurt and whole-grain baked goods.I encourage other businesses and organizations in our service area to take a look at their vending machines and see how many healthy choices are offered.  Mercy Medical Center-New Hampton can offer recommendations to ensure the selections are healthy for your patrons and employees.  All change comes down to a series of small steps forward. We feel healthy vending is one of those steps forward to decreasing our area's obesity rate.

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