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All hospitals in the U.S state of New York must make a vegan option available in every meal they serve, thanks to a new law that comes into effect on December 6.
The bill was passed last March, and then signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Bill S1471A/A4072 ensures all meals and snacks must include an option that is completely free from animal products. The plant-based options must also come at no extra cost.
It also states that every hospital must respond in ‘a reasonable manner’ to patient requests, and include the plant-based options on all written materials and menus.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) which is made up of over 12,000 doctors praised the bill.
The non-profit organization’s Director of Nutrition Education, Susan Levin, said: “This law gives physicians a teachable moment to discuss with patients the power of a plant-based meal to help prevent and reverse conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.”
More than 1.5m New Yorkers have heart disease and diabetes, and both health problems account for 40 percent of deaths in the state, PCRM report.
PCRM cites extensive research showing diets rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans, can help fight both heart disease and diabetes as well as hypertension and cancer.
COVID-19 comorbidity figures indicate that a large proportion of those who died from the virus also had high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Elsewhere in the U.S
California passed a similar law last year in the hopes of not only improving patient health but to save on costs as well.
Patients are also favoring the bill, seen in new data. An overwhelming 83 percent of patients in two Washington D.C hospitals approved the banning of processed meat to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
The PCRM offers a ten-step guide for hospitals when bringing plant-based meals to the table.