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Children's Mercy takes steps to slim down patients, staff

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A study found three out of every 10 patients and the staff at Children's Mercy Hospital were overweight or obese.

The hospital is taking a number of steps to help everyone become healthier. This includes slimming down the meals that are yummy and packed with nutrients.

Administrators hope their moves will spur changes in folks' kitchens.

"It's the right thing to do," said Bill Barkley, general manager and food services director at Children's Mercy. "We're an example for the entire community."

Called "Mindful Meals," the cafeteria is offering freshly prepared lunches and dinners with less than 700 calories and 800 milligrams of sodium.

"They also include a lean protein, whole grain, vegetable, fruit and dairy," Barkley said.

The meals are proving to be quite popular.

"That particular station has really seen about a 400 percent increase in the amount of traffic it's receiving," Barkley said.

Mindful Meals are part of the Partnership for a Healthier America program. In January, the hospital banned sugary drinks.

The hospital also has a cafe with healthier choices and no deep fryers in the kitchen.

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