News Release Date : 01/13/2010
St. Mary's Elimiates Trans Fats
St. Mary’s of Michigan has successfully and voluntarily eliminated industrial trans fats from its food service programs as part of a statewide initiative to improve patient and community health. The goal was to remove industrial trans fats from hospital vending machines, cafeterias, and patient nutrition programs by February 1, 2010.
"At St. Mary’s of Michigan, we strive to provide the safest, highest quality care to all who walk through our doors,” said Lynn Bell, Nutritional Services Director. "That care extends beyond medical treatment and incorporates creating an all-around healthy environment for our patients, their families, friends and hospital staff. Industrial trans fats are a contributing factor to the declining health of many Michigan residents; therefore, it is vital that our hospital make every effort to not only treat the ill, but help create a healthy environment for our community and for Michigan.”
Industrial trans fats have been linked to negative health effects such as increased levels of bad cholesterol and reduced levels of good cholesterol. They also contribute to increased pediatric and adult obesity, which is now estimated to account for between 9 and 11 percent of total U.S. health care expenditures. In response to this trend, and in an effort to help hospitals continue to be part of the solution to a healthier Michigan, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) initiated a statewide campaign to voluntarily eliminate industrial trans fats from hospital vending machines, cafeterias and patient nutrition programs.
Snack food manufacturers, fast-food restaurants, the state of California and major cities including New York and Philadelphia have already acted to completely eliminate industrial trans fats in recognition of their damaging health effects. Michigan hospitals were asked to join the effort to demonstrate the hospital community’s ongoing commitment to community health improvement.