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These ten interesting things about hospital food will make you reconsider what you really know about digging into a hospital meal. From fast food options to meals that simply lack proper nutrients, is there hope for a change for the better in the near future?
Hospitals are a place for healing, and what we put into our bodies has a huge part in that. These facts might make you consider bringing your own meals to the hospital bed next time.
They don't give up junk food.
Though you might want to believe that your hospitals are providing food that will promote a healthy lifestyle for their patients and their visitors, this is unfortunately not true. First of our most interesting things about hospital food, hospitals, much like you, cannot give up the convenience of fast food restaurants. This is especially true for children's hospitals.
Though this doesn't mean that they are serving hospital patients a McDouble, having fast food in hospitals gives off the wrong impression to its visitors. Though they act as a comfort food, shouldn't hospitals be promoting health, rather than giving the perception that Burger King and Wendy's is okay to eat? This doesn't seem right, especially now that we're in an age where cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are all rising diseases in America.
"Cancer-Causing" Food in Hospitals?
Sugary, processed meals are all too common in hospitals. Some might even refer to these meals as being "cancer-causing" foods. And as one of the most interesting things about hospital food, doctors want them out.
Hospitals should be a beacon of health, and rather, they are serving meals to their sick patients that include sweetened beverages, processed meats, and artificial sugar. Hospitals need to lead by example, rather than simply preach to their patients the health consequences that come from a poor diet.
It lacks proper nutrition.
The fact that the food that hospitals are providing for their patients that are recovering is completely lacking in nutrients is incredibly concerning. Though hospital food might not be appetizing, there should at least be some substance to the meal to benefit the patient. This can lead to malnourishment, and much worse. There are many patients that are at a high risk of developing infections that could be life-threatening, due to the malnourishment. We can't have food in our hospitals that are not only failing to aid in their health, but decreasing their immune system.
Is is possible to get something another patient has?
Though it's very probable that you will get another sickness from eating hospital food, hospitals have been reported to make one in four patients feel sick, simply by eating their meals.
As one of the most interesting things about hospital food, you cannot get sick simply by going into a hospital. Thankfully, hospitals do take advantage of their budget to ensure their buildings are cleanly and sterile.
However, due to the lack or nutrients and unappetizing options, hospital food has made patients feel even more unhealthy. As a terrible way to make patient's road to recovery more difficult than it has to be, hospital food that has been sitting around for hours have been making their patients sick. How ironic.
Hospitals' food budgets aren't great.
Why is this such a problem for America? The food budgets for hospitals are lacking drastically. Some patients have trouble even stomaching the food. According to CBC, hospitals spend an average of $8 for each of their patients per day. This is due to the one percent of their budget that is devoted to food.
You get interrupted a lot during meal time.
Not exactly one of the most interesting things about hospital food, but still a fact that frustrates most, getting interrupted during sleep, your meals, and practically any time you wish to be alone is very common while staying in a hospital.
It's a talent of most nurses and doctors, but being checked on is never a bad thing. Just be aware of the fact that being interrupted once you've taken the first bite of your dinner is very probable.
It's always possible to BYO.
After the first half of our facts about hospital food being entirely negative, we would like to remind you that it is very possible to bring your own meals to the hospital.
This doesn't mean stop at Burger King on your way to visit your loved one, but rather bringing a healthy alternative to the slush that hospitals tend to serve for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Bringing your own meals is probably the best bet to allow for a better stay at the hospital, though it might be a bit more expensive, it's worth switching out at least one of the meals per day for the patient.
And of course, the hospital will never stop you from doing this. This might just avoid the patient from feeling sick, while gaining some needed nutrients.
You might actually be able to drink a little before surgery.
For healthy patients, the concept of not being able to eat or drink after midnight before the day of your surgery might be debunked. As one of the most interesting things about hospital food, you might be able to drink a little something before your surgery.
According to M Health, experts are revisiting the standard, and allowing healthy patients to consume clear liquid up till two hours before surgery. Plus, up to eight hours before surgery, you can have something small to eat as well.
There is hope for better quality!
A much-needed positivity for the quality of hospital foods, there is hope. Though hospital food might be referred to as meals that "you wouldn't serve to pigs," the need for change is apparent, and relevant to hospitals everywhere.
A great way that hospitals are looking to change their meal options for the better is to team up with local farmers, a win-win situation. This way patients will get nutritious meals, while local farmers gain a huge business partner. As a way to promote eating to heal, hospitals are hitting their turning points for patients to be healthier.
Some hospitals are making the big switch to organic foods.
Last on our list of the most interesting things about hospital food is the fact that many hospitals are looking to change their food methods over to being completely organic. For example, UCLA Medical Center is using organic food, and Fletcher Allen Health Care uses antibiotic-free meat.
As steps toward a brighter and healthier future, every milestone is appreciated by their patients. This also goes for serving hormone-free dairy and simply more nutritional meal options. The momentum is building, and there is hope for a better future for hospital foods.