Royal Childrens Hospital and what sort of food it offers: a case study

The Royal Children’s Hospital is a place for sick children. Its just outside the City of Melbourne and it has a huge parking lot.  It has been around for many years and on the topic of obesity, we wanted to look at the food that they offer there. And why you should bring your own food.InstagramCapture_15353a80-1ac2-45c6-a65a-30bae475e794

We visited in January when it was busy with all the kids needing injections and checkups. And when we first entered we saw the food court and McDonald’s. McDonald’s was really busy with all the obese people. People visit from far away rural Victoria and have not much understanding of nutrition. Some people order coffee with three teaspoons of sugar. It is not good for their health. A lot of people visit the food court cafes and some opt for sushi.

The Royal Children’s hospital has McDonald’s in there which entices sick patients to grab a takeaway or two. As you know it is not very healthy. McDonald’s has a lot of calories in their foods and they are quite fatty. The dumpling shop next door has a lot of fatty and deep fried foods too. The AMA (2018) called for these sort of foods to be banned.

It offers a wide range of sugary drinks at their convenience store. Subway also has a lot of sugary drinks and treats. Their footlong subs are calorie laden. But their wraps are not too bad. My wrap has about 400 cals and my desert cookie has 478 cals. Altogether I would have eaten nearly 900 calories in one sitting.

There are a few cafes which sell coffee in big takeaway cups. Here they have those paper cups which burns your hand when you open it. These are not environmentally sustainable and nor are they in the patient’s favor. Most cafes offer a discount for those that bring in their own cups but there is no sign saying so.

The hospital is right near a park which is great.

There is one water fountain but that was a bit hard to find.

There is an ice cream store called Trampoline which people go to in the summer.


Some recommendations

  • Instead of having McDonald’s in the food court, the hospital should have another health food place. It has one vegan place but that is really hard to find. Like Subway, McDonald’s should be outside.
  • Instead of the convenience store, the hospital should seriously think about having a fit club where people can work out for free if they are a patient or staff. There should be a nutrition bar there
  • Remove all sugary drinks from the hospital
  • The hospital should have a T2 bar where they just serve ready-made teas only
  • The hospital should consider a Nespresso bar where they do just coffees on the go and there is stevia instead of sugar
  • The hospital should consider banning the use of paper takeaway cups and rather have everyone bring their own small keep cup mugs

Hopefully, in 2018 the hospital will make some positive changes in their precinct to promote healthy eating and drinking. And hopefully people will lose weight.

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