Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hospital Cafeteria Food a Recipe for Illness?

We are starting to see more and more articles and news items claiming that hospital cafeteria food is a recipe for illness, and this new report by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) indicates that high-fat, high-cholesterol meals increase the risk of heart disease and cancer for hospital staff and visitors.

But I think there's more than meets the eye here. Read on and see what you think about the pros and cons of what's being advocated.

I've excerpted the report below with a link to the full news release.

Thursday, September 15, 2005
WASHINGTON—Nutrition scientists with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) have conducted a nationwide survey to determine if hospital cafeterias and restaurants are meeting the need for low-fat, cholesterol-free foods that can help people maintain a healthy weight and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. While there are some promising trends, such as the wide availability of whole-grain products and fresh fruit, there is an urgent need for improvement. The survey reveals that fewer than one-third of hospitals offer either a daily salad bar or a daily low-fat, cholesterol-free entrée. Moreover, a nutritional analysis reveals that many entrées described as healthful by hospitals are actually very high in artery-clogging fat. Sixty-two percent of these “healthiest entrée” offerings derived more than 30 percent of calories from fat, and a few derived more than 50 percent of calories from fat.

For the full news release go to: PCRM

Contact: Jeanne S. McVey at 202-686-2210, ext. 316, or cell 415-509-1833;

At first the above article caught my attention and I said yes, some hospital food is unhealthy, with so many burger and pizza fast food restaurants springing up in hospitals all over the country.

But when I dug into this more deeply PCRM seems to be an organization advocating a total vegetarian diet with only about five percent of it's members being actual physicians.

Here's what ActiveCash.com had to say recently:
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. PCRM is a fanatical animal rights group that seeks to remove eggs, milk, meat, and seafood from the American diet, and to eliminate the use of animals in scientific research. Despite its operational and financial ties to other animal activist groups and its close relationship with violent zealots, PCRM has successfully duped the media and much of the general public into believing that its pronouncements about the superiority of vegetarian-only diets represent the opinion of the medical community.
“Less than 5 percent of PCRM’s members are physicians,” Newsweek wrote in February 2004. The respected news magazine continued:

[PCRM president Neal] Barnard has co-signed letters, on PCRM letterhead, with the leader of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, an animal-rights group the Department of Justice calls a “domestic terrorist threat.” PCRM also has ties to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. An agency called the Foundation to Support Animal Protection has distributed money from PETA to PCRM in the past and, until very recently, did both groups’ books. Barnard and PETA head Ingrid Newkirk are both on the foundation’s board.

ActiveCash.com is part of the ConsumerFreedom.com network, and is committed to providing detailed and up-to-date information about the funding source of radical anti-consumer organizations and activists. They have analyzed over 410,000 pages of IRS documents to create their database, and new information will be added every month.

go to this link for the full article:
A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

So what's right and what's wrong here? I would be interested in you comments. Merv.

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