Doctor Coffee Café at Gippsland Southern Health Service’s Leongatha campus is taking up the challenge to make it easier for staff and visitors to the hospital to choose healthy options. As part of the ‘Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice’ project that is being delivered across South Gippsland and Bass Coast, Doctor Coffee is one of the sites piloting changes to ‘green’ up their menu.
Poor diet is a major factor in the national obesity epidemic, which contributes significantly to disease burden and direct costs to the healthcare system.
With close to half of adults in South Gippsland being overweight (31.5%) or obese (17.9%), Gippsland Southern Health Service CEO Mark Johnson commented that “We as a health service play an essential role in providing an environment for our community that not only treats ill health but also assists in preventing it. The changes at Doctor Coffee are a wonderful example of how small changes can help contribute to this.”
In their first cycles of changes Doctor Coffee have assessed and labelled their menu items against the Department of Health and Human Services Healthy Choices Guidelines. Using a traffic light system items are labelled at Green – the best choice, Amber – choose carefully or Red – limit.
Dr Coffee proprietors say ”With all the messages out there about ‘healthy’ eating it is easy to get confused about what is actually good for you. The labelling of our menu now makes it incredibly simple for our customers to make the best choice.”