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Balanced Menus: A Pilot Evaluation of Implementation in Four San Francisco Bay Area Hospitals

April 12, 2010
CLF Report

Lisa Lagasse and Roni Neff

Balanced Menus is a voluntary program that seeks to improve nutrition and benefit the environment by reducing meat purchasing among participating hospitals by 20 percent within 12 months. The program also promotes shifting towards serving more sustainably produced meat.

Developed and piloted by San Francisco Physicians for Social Responsibility, Balanced Menus was first implemented in 2008 in four San Francisco Bay Area hospitals. In September 2009, Health Care Without Harm launched the program nationally. At the time of this report, 32 hospitals have taken the "Balanced Menus Challenge".

This report describes a pilot evaluation of Balanced Menus program implementation in four San Francisco Bay Area hospitals: Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, the San Francisco VA Medical Center, the John Muir Health Medical Center, and one anonymous hospital. The hospitals vary in size as well as medical and food services provided, representing a broad range ofpossibilities for the program.

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