Committee of physicians asks hospitals, including 2 in SC, to el - FOX Carolina 21

Committee of physicians asks hospitals, including 2 in SC, to eliminate fast food

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The ad appears near a GHS campus. (Jan. 29, 2016/FOX Carolina) The ad appears near a GHS campus. (Jan. 29, 2016/FOX Carolina)

A catchy ad campaign is working to eliminate fast food from hospitals, including Greenville Health System.

One of the signs made by the the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is placed right across from Greenville Memorial Hospital and says "eat more chick peas."

The message is a reference to the slogan for Chick-Fil-A, which is sold at GHS. 

The people behind the message are asking at least 20 hospitals across the country to stop selling fast food.

GHS said, "they agree with the spirit of the hospital food report" that this committee conducted, but said they believe the report's approach is flawed. They also said they have made changes, to make their eating options healthier and Chick-Fil-A is not given to their patients. 

The group of physicians backing the ads said it's irresponsible for hospitals to promote fried chicken and other unhealthy food.

An Upstate doctor said you can make healthy choices even at fast food restaurants.

"If you can get something grilled, at least you're removing a lot of the fats that applied when they fry those meals," said Dr. Jason Blasenak.

Blasenak is an ER physician with Emergency MD and he said it's hard to avoid fried food, like french fries, at most fast food chains.

"The breads are usually coated with butter, if you can ask them to make them without heavily coated butter or a lot of the condiments or dressing that they put on these meals it is going to provide a more healthy option," said Blasenak.

In addition to the Chick-Fil-A at GHS, the physician's committee is asking hospitals in states like Georgia and North Carolina to eliminate fast food as well. Other chains they are asking to remove are Wendy's and McDonalds.

Dr. Angie Eakin, who is pictured in the ad said, "Many of the hospitals that host Chick-fil-As are in states with high rates of diet-related diseases, making hospitals part of the overall toxic food environment. Hospitals should be fast-food- free, and patients should eat more chickpeas, vegetables, fruits, and other foods that can promote healing and prevent disease." 

Below is the full response from GHS regarding the request from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:

“While we agree with the spirit of the hospital food report conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, we believe the report’s approach is flawed. For example, the report does not take into account that food generated by franchises like Chick-fil-A is not part of the patient menu.
Greenville Health System has a long-standing commitment to total health and has taken numerous steps to improve the health of our employees, patients and community. Some of these steps include offering "Smart Selection" meals that contain no more than 500 calories or 15 grams of fat in our cafeterias and making healthy food options more visible and less expensive. Last year, we removed sugary drinks like sweet tea and full-calorie soda from our cafeterias and vending machines, and this year we plan to remove deep fryers. We also plan to add signage in our cafeterias and franchises indicating healthy choices.
 Our goal is to make the healthy choice an easy choice, no matter where someone chooses to eat."

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