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Published on July 19, 2016

Healthy Snack Pilot Project at Concord Hospital

Food is Medicine GraphicConcord Hospital knows the value of proper nutrition. One shining example of this is the Hospital's Reduced Sodium and Healthy Eating pilot project. In cooperation with N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, Concord Hospital has launched a program designed to increase access to and encourage consumption of reduced sodium and reduced calorie snack foods sold in the Hospital’s Food Services retail sites including the cafeteria, Karner Blue Café and seven Grab’n Go locations. Increased varieties of healthy snack options are now available at all point-of-sale locations and have been reduced in price by 50 percent.

Concord Hospital wellness coordinator Jason Aziz and a registered dietitian evaluated and identified items that were reduced sodium and reduced calorie. The items identified as healthy were required to have less than 200mg sodium per serving and less than 150 calories per serving. The consumption of these items was then compared to intakes of conventional snacks available within the Hospital. Conventional snacks were on average higher in sodium by approximately 65 percent and higher in calories by approximately 55 percent.

Early in the endeavor, the results have been impressive. The consumption of fresh whole fruit has increased 300 percent in the first month of the pilot. Other healthy foods made available included fresh guacamole, hummus, fresh-cut vegetables, yogurt and certain low-sodium nuts. On average, consumption of all foods in the healthy category has doubled since the project began.

“We set-out to examine whether or not increased access and lower cost of foods deemed healthy would result in increased intakes,” said Jason Aziz, wellness coordinator at Concord Hospital and coordinator of the pilot project. “Resoundingly, the answer was yes! Even more interesting was the type of foods we observed an increase in demand for. The increase in consumption of whole fresh fruit indicates to us that we are having a positive impact in the nutritional status of our employees and visitors.”

The nutritional future is promising at Concord Hospital, where there is an entire movement towards more healthful dietary patterns. Daily farmer’s markets, local foods incorporated into the cafeteria menu, the Reduced Sodium and Healthy Eating pilot are just a few examples of how the organization approaches their food.

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Public Affairs
Concord Hospital
250 Pleasant St.
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 227-7000, ext. 4215