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November 9, 1912


JAMA. 1912;LIX(19):1668-1671. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270110082003

The average hospital to-day is inadequately equipped to feed patients properly according to modern dietetic principles. The chief fault lies with the medical staff rather than with the administrative department of the hospital.

These are sweeping statements, but I believe they are justified. If true, the statements should not be interpreted as indicating neglect of patients, either on the part of the institution or on the part of the members of the staff, but merely as evidence of the fact that scientific dietetics is a subject of recent development with which the profession at large is not yet thoroughly familiar. But these principles are now known, and the time is not far distant when the hospital or the physician who feeds patients in the old way will justly be accused of neglect.

Up to a short time ago the feeding of patients was a matter of empiricism. By experience we

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