A new study found that many patients in hospitals are malnourished because they're not eating the food provided to them by the facilities.
MarketWatch cited a recent study، the results of which were published in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition، as saying hospital food is turning people off to the point that it's detrimental to their health. Fifty-one percent of patients، for example، leave most of their meals untouched during hospital stays. Good nutrition is even more important after injuries، illnesses، and surgeries because it helps the body heal and stave off infection.
"Malnutrition can be invisible to the eye and is rampant in U.S. hospitals because it's not always top of mind،" Nutrition Day founder and president Gail Gewirtz told MarketWatch. "Our data shows that one warning sign — poor food intake — is very common in hospitals، and this is something healthcare providers can easily look out for and address."
Registered dietician Abby Sauer، the study's lead author، did say that patients might not be hungry when they're hospitalized، putting the onus on hospitals to serve the right meals.
"Patients don't always have the best appetite or desire to eat while in the hospital، so it's important to create an environment and serve up options that promote optimal food intake،" Sauer said.
Almost 10،000 patients at 245 hospitals participated in the study، which concluded that one-third of hospitalized adults face a risk of malnutrition because of a lack of eating.