“Hospital food is often criticized for being unappetizing, but dietitians say the processed meals also lack proper nutrition for
recovering patients.”This is the lead sentence in a story, about the nutrient quality of food that is served to patients while they are in the hospital that was posted on July 2, 2012 by the CBC.
A quick Google search indicates that this is not a new story; concerns about the nutrient value of hospital food go back years.
I cannot speak from personal experience, having not spent any more than a few hours in a hospital, usually for tests or visiting, but the stories about the quality of hospital food are numerous.
Healthy food is vital to a healthy body and a healthy mind. When someone is ill, appropriate healthy food is an important part of the healing process.“Food nourishes the body and gives us energy to get through each day. Healthy eating is fundamental to good health and is a key element in healthy human development, from the prenatal and early childhood years to later life stages. Healthy eating is equally important in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases.”
Hippocrates is considered by many to be the father of modern medicine. he is, often, credited with saying: “Let food be your medicine and medicine your food.”
Whether he actually said this or some version of it does not matter, food is essential to life and all the nutrients we need to be healthy are meant to come from our food sources. If the body is not properly nourished it may become malnourished.
Malnourishment is a condition that develops when the body does not get the right amount of the vitamins, and other nutrients, it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function.
Why then, are people who are confined to a hospital, not given the best food available. It is possible that eating well and appropriately would reduce the time it takes for the patient to get better and thus reduce the time spent in the hospital.
The catch here is that hospitals, most likely, serve the food they do to reduce their overall operating costs. This may seem an unfortunate necessity, but I disagree.
What is needed is a change in perspective and treatment. Healthy eating will help reduce the number of people who require a doctor’s care or a hospital stay. However, that is not the point of this piece.
The point is this in order to properly heal; people who are hospitalized must have sufficient, appropriate food. The amount and the exact nature of that food, will vary based upon why they have been hospitalized and the stage of their recovery, but no matter were they are in the healing process, nutritious food is a must.
How hospitals can realize this need and keep costs in line will be examined soon.