This week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the Healthy Hospital Food Initiative – a ban on junk food from hospital cafeterias and vending machines, forcing hospitals to offer healthy food and beverages instead. The ban is part of a broader citywide initiative to promote healthy eating and combat obesity.

According to the Huffington Post, most NYC hospital cafeterias have replaced sugary sodas and pastries with natural beverages and granola bars. But Bloomberg’s initiative goes further, prohibiting deep fryers and mandating fresh green salads.

Patients interviewed by the Huffington Post said they would get around the new hospital rules by bringing candy and chips from home. The ban only covers what hospitals can sell, so it can’t stop people from supplying their own snacks – or buying them at the bodega across the street.

Bloomberg’s rules will encourage hospitals to supply a new generation of vending machines that offer healthy snacks: juices, natural sodas, fat-free chips, and organic bars. These vending machines make healthier foods appealing and convenient for patients and their families, and they offer a wide selection of choices in one place.