Hyatt Innovates Healthy Eating for Kids

By Monica Poling Online Editor, TravelAge West | August 04, 2013

Hyatt Innovates Healthy Eating for Kids

In the more than three decades since the introduction of portable music players, devices designed to help make moving fun, one can argue that America's youth spend less time being physically active. In fact, according to the Partnership for a Healthier America, a non-profit organization that works with both public and private sectors promoting youth health and wellness, physical activity among children has decreased by more than 30 percent since the 70s(1). At that same time, fast food kid's meals were introduced which may have laid the foundation for a cultural shift in eating habits. Today, nearly half (48.7 percent) of all food expenditures are made on meals eaten outside the home, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)(2).

While there may be an increased choice of where to eat, there has been a significant decline in paying attention on how to eat, as many dining establishments serve ever-growing portion sizes from menus that provide limited healthy options.

Not surprisingly, America's decline in youth physical activity, combined with increased portion sizes, is having a particularly negative effect on American kids, who are experiencing some of the highest obesity rates ever.

Today, one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, a statistic that has nearly tripled since the early 1960s(3). What's more, childhood obesity has now outpaced drug abuse and smoking as the number one health concern among parents in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.

And while it might be easy to wonder how childhood obesity rates correlate with the hospitality industry, Americans are spending more of their food budget than ever at lodging establishments. In 2011 Americans spent more than 25 billion dollars on meals at hotels and motels(4), a number which has nearly quadrupled since the 1970s.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Gaurav Varma
Stephanie Hilger
Robert M. O'Halloran
Eugenio Pirri
Chris Green
Terence Ronson
Suzanne McIntosh
Ed Blair
Court Williams
Sherri Merbach
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.