Hospitals always bring to mind bastions of health, where the unwell go to get well and we’re sure everyone is getting the appropriate amount of calories in their cups of Jell-O. And then there’s the hospital in Brooklyn — right smack in the middle of health advocate Mayor Bloomberg’s territory — that dashes that image right to pieces with the existence of a Taco Bell located in the building.
NYC’s Health Department has asked private health centers in the city to cut down on the sale of unhealthy food like candy bars and soda with its Healthy Hospital Food Initiative. That program features meals that are 650 calories are less and desserts that are 250 or less.
But Long Island College Hospital hasn’t been asked to do so, reports the New York Daily News, and as such there’s plenty of unhealthy stuff for sale at its Taco Bell.
Hey, people gotta eat and they’re going to eat what they want — whether it’s a D0ritos Locos Taco or something from the newer, healthier Cantina Bell menu.
“Everyone comes in here,” said one woman interviewed by the NYDN who was enjoying a burrito and a Pepsi after seeing her doctor. “Everybody don’t eat healthy. I’m drinking exactly what the mayor says not to. They should leave this Taco Bell alone.”
So what do the doctors think about the health factor at Taco Bell? Well, they like their nachos and burritos, too.
“It’s cheap,” said one doctor chowing on a soft taco and 16-ounce Pepsi. “They give us 10 minutes to eat.”
Taco Bell draws the line at patients staying at the hospital, however, says the manager of the hospital’s location.
“We are not selling to patients,” he said. “They have strict diets and we don’t want to harm them. Patients come in here and say ‘We want tacos.’ We say ‘no’,” he added. “Sometimes, they get aggressive.”
We can only imagine — you try eating hospital food for even a few days and see how badly you’d be jonesing for a couple of tacos.
Taco Bell thrives inside a Cobble Hill hospital [New York Daily News]