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Do I Dare Eat the Food At The Hospital Cafeteria?


Do I Dare Eat the Food At The Hospital Cafeteria?
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” said Hippocrates, the father of medicine, long before nutrition and dietetics became an established discipline.

Unfortunately, it seems like most of the food served in hospital cafeteria across the country is working against this dictum.

Hospitals aren’t generally known for serving the most appetizing meals. We’ve even asked out readers to review hospital food and share their best and worst experiences with us. But, the problem with hospital food isn’t only that it looks unappealing. It’s also what the cafeteria serves that has most nurses worried.

Here’s the cruel paradox. You and your fellow nurses and doctors work hard to heal patients, take care of them, and teach them how to look after themselves once they check out of the hospital. But, most of the food served in hospitals isn’t only unappetizing, it also lacks the nutrient your patients (and you) need.

Is Hospital Food Unhealthy?

We’ve already established that hospital cafeteria food has never had a reputation for being inviting. But, is it healthy?

The short answer is that it depends on various factors.

There’s a huge contrast when it comes to hospital food. On the one hand, there’s the bad hospital meal that looks nasty and has no taste. On the other hand, there’s an excess of cheeseburgers, donuts, cookies, processed meat, and sweetened drinks that are mind-boggling. Sure, you can say that both patients and the medical staff have more options now than before, but what are the repercussions?

According to, it’s not uncommon for hospital patients to suffer nutrition deficiencies while staying at the hospital. The American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, cited by, even published a report in 2013 about the growing concerns over the quality of hospital food. The authors voiced their worries regarding the unhealthy food that is currently being sold in hospitals to patients, visitors, and staff members.

[Page 2: How good is the food really, and should you eat it?]

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