3 December 2013

Hospital Food

The word hospital has the same root as hospitable. This implies that you're welcome, stay as long as you like, it's what we're here for.

Hospitals don't want you to ever leave, it's their job to keep you for ever. Or at least until you die.

It seems to me that the economic difficulties that this approach of free hospitalisation brings are being dealt with by the cunning device of hospital food.

They're not allowed to kill you with medicines but they can certainly speed up your departure using food.

Of course, the whole of our society eats really badly. We're stuffing rubbish into our bodies on a daily basis. But that's our choice, if we want to kill ourselves that's fine. My problem is with medical care that fails to recognise the correlation between what we eat and how we feel.

I've had a sneaking feeling about this for a long time but only recently received evidence that supports my misgivings.

Here are two plates of food:

Pick the one you think might aid patient recovery. No, not the one you might prefer to eat! Just because there are chips on the plate doesn't mean its tasty.

Try these two:

Now compare with this:

I believe that hospitals have a duty to administer a bodily intake that's appropriate and conducive to our well being. They have an opportunity to demonstrate a healthy diet that will help prevent further illness. From the reports I'm getting, they don't seem interested.
If hospitals feed their patients stodgy crap, any patients lucky enough to leave without being dead are going to think that's what they ought to be eating.
It's a crazy world.