Rush Embraces Healthier Snacking

By Mary Gregoire

More than 60 percent of the U.S. population is defined as being overweight or obese. Lack of sufficient exercise and consumption of higher-fat and -sugar foods often contribute to weight gain and can result in an individual becoming overweight or obese.

Rush Food and Nutrition Services managers are concerned about these statistics and are excited to introduce healthier options in the vending machines around the Rush campus. What began with the vending machines in the Tower is now expanding to other vending machines across Rush University Medical Center.

We partnered with our vending supplier, Ace Vending, to increase the number of Health on the Go items in snack machines to half of the items currently offered. These snacks meet Health on the Go guidelines, featuring reduced calories, fat, sodium and sugar, and increased fiber. Half of the cold beverage options will be juice, water or sugar-free sodas. The cold food machines will feature more salads and entrees, which also will meet Health on the Go guidelines.

Continue reading

Healthy Eating Is Challenging For Dietitians, Too

By Yimin Chen

Lunchtime and snack time in the hospital for a registered dietitian is always a challenge, as everyone around stares to see what we will choose to eat.

Just the other day, another fellow dietitian and I were cruising down the snack aisle of a food shop when someone made a comment about the chips we had chosen for a snack being “unhealthy… especially for a dietitian.”

It got me thinking — as difficult as it already is to eat a healthy diet, it is particularly difficult when I am expected to “know better.” I always find myself explaining to people that I balance my caloric intake with increased physical activities, and that every food can fit into a healthful diet. If you are willing to work off the extra calories from that bag of chips, then you can have that bag of chips. Continue reading