Every day in hospitals across the country, newsagent stands, High Street fast-food franchises, cafes and vending machines offer a dazzling array of junk food, sweet drinks and sugary snacks for patients, staff and visitors to gorge on.
Now a new venture is proposing to change this with the launch of a healthy gluten free, paleo friendly café
It is appalling to see visitors and patients, some of whom are clearly chronically ill, stuffing themselves with confectionary and salty, fat-laden food. And it’s not just visitors that are suffering – it is worth noting that 50 per cent of NHS staff are overweight which is not surprising if they are surrounded by fast food cafes onsite.
In addition recent studies are indicating that the NHS is facing a funding crisis and that this is compounded by a growth in chronic conditions including obesity, diabetes and dementia. It is predicted that 55 percent of adults will be obese by 2020. Obesity and overweight already cost the NHS a staggering £5 billion every year.
The working environment for staff is particularly unhealthy, with many working longer than their allotted hours under stressful circumstances with little support in terms of physical and mental health. This would make it even more crucial they can access healthy, nourishing food to keep them focused and energised through their shifts. This is despite the fact that The Royal College of Physicians and The Department of Health recommend increasing the availability of healthy food in the workplace.
Frustrated by the overwhelming prevalence of junk, sugary food in local cafes particularly in hospitals a team of Doctors headed by Dr Tom Kelley and Nutritionist and Chef Christine Bailey are proposing to open the first ever Healthy Eating Gluten Free, Paleo Friendly Café in an NHS Hospital called Health Kitchen
“Hospitals have a unique opportunity to promote healthy eating not just to patients but to staff and visitors. Finding healthy foods onsite is a daily struggle and if you have an allergy or suffer with coeliac disease it is almost impossible” explains Dr Tom Kelley
Health Kitchen will be the first healthy eating and dedicated gluten free café in an NHS hospital. Nutritionist Christine Bailey, herself a coeliac says “We are all aware of the increase in the number of people diagnosed coeliac and those with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. In addition the popularity of the paleo style of eating is booming yet there are very few eating out places that cater for these diets”
Health kitchen will offer an array of healthy eating drinks, snacks and light meals. The project has been launched on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform to raise sufficient money to open later in 2014. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1198741631/health-kitchen. Discussions are underway with various hospitals including The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Food served will be available to staff, patients and visitors and will include an array of delicious healthy options. ON the menu will be an anti-inflammatory smoothie, gluten free and paleo muffins, kale crisps, seed crackers and dips and light dishes such as Mediterranean chicken bowl, Superfood kale salad and Teriyaki Salmon.
“What we need now”, says Tom “is funding through Kickstarter – we have only 23 days to reach the full amount so we are calling on key backers , investors as well as anyone keen to see more healthy food readily available to pledge money”
Visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1198741631/health-kitchen to support the project
Contact Christine Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 01189262051
Tom Kelley email@example.com
Follow us @ukhealthkitchen