May 23 2012
A new study out of Great Britain shows around 75 percent of hospital food in the UK is less healthy than food served at McDonald’s, KFC, and Pizza Hut. The study also found that 60 percent of this hospital food contains more salt than a McDonalds Big Mac and 40 percent of it had more saturated fat than a 9-inch pepperoni pizza. Somebody better call Jamie Oliver back to the UK. Looks like his annoying nutrition lectures are required at home!
Now, this really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital over the past decade having babies and if it isn’t the throngs of doctors and nurses chain smoking near the hospital entrances, the food served in hospital cafeterias will definitely convince you that these folks aren’t really listening to their own advice.
Besides showing doctors, nurses, and medical staff don’t eat particularly good food, this study knocks down the assumptions promoted by the food nannies that the people who eat this type of food just don’t understand what they’re eating. The food nannies constantly portray consumers of fast food and high-calorie treats as innocent little lambs being led to slaughter.
Yet, hospital workers are pretty well informed about the impact of obesity and diseases related to obesity. They literally see it every day, right? Doctors shouldn’t have to rely on calorie postings or pamphlets providing nutrition information to know that a salad is nutritionally preferable to a slice of pizza. The medical and support staff at the hospital no-doubt have easy access to doctors, specialists and information about proper nutrition. Yet, it appears even these folks are just like the rest of us; they eat what tastes good—damn the consequences.
This is yet another (soon to be ignored) nugget of proof that efforts to limit access to certain foods through bans and taxes and requiring restaurants, vending machines and food manufacturers provide detailed food labeling and calorie information on menus won’t do a thing to convince people to eat healthier.