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Singapore Hospitals Leading Global Push For More Plant-Based Patient Meals - ANZ ?

Singapore hospitals, including Alexandra Hospital, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and National University Hospital, are embracing plant-based menus as part of a larger sustainability and health initiative. A recent Straits Times report suggests moves into more sustainable hospital nutrition programs is gathering momentum.


Hospital patient receiving food tray

In crafting these meals, chefs work closely with dietitians to ensure the meals are nutritionally balanced, including managing the salt content in some dishes to accommodate dietary needs without compromising the eating experience.

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This progressive approach is mirrored in movements and organisations worldwide, aiming to shift hospital and health care food services towards more sustainable, plant-based options. For instance, the Coalition for Plant-Based Food in Hospitals is actively working to incorporate plant-based meals into health care settings, supported by organisations like the American Medical Association and the American College of Cardiology. They argue hospitalisation presents a teachable moment for patients to adopt healthier eating habits as part of their recovery process​

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Benefits of such dietary shifts are substantial. For example, NYC Health + Hospitals, after adopting plant-based meals as the default option, reported a 36% reduction in food-related carbon emissions and a significant increase in patient satisfaction. Additionally, the move toward plant-based meals can also contribute to cost savings, highlighting the potential for positive impacts on both health outcomes and operational efficiencies​


Hospital meal tray

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These plant-based initiatives underscore the growing recognition of the interconnectedness of diet, health, and environmental sustainability. They also highlight the potential for health care facilities in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) to adopt similar strategies.


Given the global nature of these challenges, the experiences of hospitals in Singapore and other parts of the world offer valuable lessons for ANZ health care providers.


Implementing plant-based menus could not only advance public health goals but also contribute to broader environmental sustainability efforts, aligning with global best practices and responding to increasing patient and community interest in healthier, more sustainable dietary options. The job now is to put this type of information in front of ANZ politicians, health policy developers and planners.


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